This September, new textbooks and other learning resources will replace worn, outdated texts and new library books will stock school shelves thanks to a $61-million investment, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy announced today.
“In todayâ€™s knowledge economy, education is the prerequisite for prosperity. If we want our kids to succeed, we have to give them the tools they need — not worn, outdated textbooks and empty library shelves,” said Premier McGuinty.
“We are two years into a four-year plan to deliver improvements to education and ensure the basics, like textbooks, are available to students. We are now asking communities and individuals to get more involved with their local schools to help strengthen and build confidence in publicly funded education in this province.”
Premier McGuinty and Kennedy made the call to Ontarians to visit local schools this fall to become more knowledgeable about local education challenges and to see education investments making a difference in the classroom. Among items to look for, McGuinty cited new books, new repairs, specialist teachers, smaller class sizes and stability created through long-term labour settlements.
Premier McGuinty delivered the message as he and Kennedy helped teaching staff at R.J. Lang Elementary and Middle School unpack new math textbooks for Grades 4 and 5 students, new geography and math student readers for primary students, oversized books and library books. They also visited with Grade 8 teacher Joe Messersi, Grade 2 teacher Elitha McInnis and teacher-librarian Evy Gambin. Their next stop will take them to Pope John Paul II School in Hamilton in the afternoon.
The McGuinty government has increased its overall funding to education by $840 million for this school year. The $61 million in new funding announced today will provide textbooks, other classroom learning resources and library books. This is the first time in many years that an Ontario government has invested directly in the purchase of new library books.
“We have set a measurable target for improvement for the first time in our province: three-quarters of Grade 6 students will reach the provincial standard on reading, writing and math tests within four years, up from the just over one-half doing so when we took office. Part of getting there is putting the resources in place to help students succeed,” said Kennedy.
“Providing my students with these new textbooks and learning resources will be an important ingredient to boost their achievement and enrich their learning experience,” said Grade 2 teacher Elitha McInnis.