QUEEN'S PARK - Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West -Nepean), Official Opposition Critic for Education, released the following statement following another troubling report highlighting the persistent inequities students face due to the Ford Government's poor funding model:
"Education should be a source of excitement and opportunity for all our kids. These extracurricular activities ignite their passion for learning and can profoundly impact their overall education. We've seen during the pandemic just how vital socialization, arts, and sports are for our children's well-being and development. It's not just about fun; it's about collaboration, problem-solving, and fostering a love for learning that can translate into the classroom."
The latest report from People for Education reveals the Ford Conservatives’ consistent shortcomings and mismanagement of the education file. Funding from the province has failed to cover many extracurricular activities and programs that make up a fulsome education.
"The reality is that the Ford Conservatives’ funding model falls short, leaving many schools in low-income areas to fundraise for essentials like nutrition and field trips. Schools should not have to rely on fundraising to provide these crucial programs. Regardless of their background, every child deserves equal access to these opportunities.
We hope every child has a great school year filled with exciting learning and new experiences. To make this a reality, we must increase funding across the board and ensure that all students, regardless of their circumstances, have the same access to quality education and government funding."
The People for Education report revealed:
- 80% of schools in high-income areas offer arts clubs compared to 66% of schools in low-income areas.
- 60% of schools in urban areas offered STEM clubs compared to 47% of rural schools.
- 47% of schools in high-income areas offered academic competitions compared to 16% of schools in low-income areas.
- The average amount fundraised in high-income schools was almost three times higher than that raised in low-income schools.
- The only school activity students from low-income areas have greater access to is breakfast or nutrition programs at 96% compared to 53% for schools in high-income areas.