McGuinty Government Strengthening Schools For Rural Students
New Fairer Funding To Improve Programs, Help Rural Students Succeed
MEAFORD -- Ontario's new rural school program will help keep schools across the province open and adequately staffed -- strengthening communities and improving success for students, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.
"We recognize that rural schools face some unique challenges -- particularly in staffing and program opportunities," said Premier McGuinty, who was joined by Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy at the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo. "We're committed to ensuring all Ontario students, including those in small, rural communities, have an equal opportunity for a quality education."
The McGuinty government's $31-million initiative recognizes the important role rural schools play in strengthening communities. This new investment will benefit 1,149 rural schools, providing school boards with the resources to strengthen programs, services and staffing for rural schools. It could also allow schools to provide fewer classes of combined grades and offer a wider variety of subjects -- recommendations made by Dr. Rozanski to improve Ontario's public education system.
The new funding will recognize an expanded list of schools -- broadening the definition of rural and better meeting the needs of students across the province.
"The previous government's flawed funding formula made rural schools easy targets for closing -- we're changing that and putting rural schools back on the map -- literally," said Minister Kennedy. "Every single board with rural schools will benefit from this new investment."
Premier McGuinty noted that investing in rural schools is part of a government strategy for strengthening rural communities.
"Rural communities are one of the pillars of our economy and our province," said Premier McGuinty. "We're committed to ensuring Ontario has a healthy agriculture industry and thriving rural communities where Ontarians can live and work."
Premier McGuinty said his government's investment in rural schools is helping to deliver the results Ontarians expect.
"We are focused on delivering real, positive change for the people of Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "By working together, we can build more vibrant communities, a more prosperous economy and a quality of life that is second to none."