We have unstainable growth in the education budget given our aging demographic ($$$$ for healthcare), and loss of manufacturing to USA/Mexico. Why build a plant in Ontario with risk of rail blockades?
Also, despite high graduation rates, the readiness for university has declined and our PISA scores are down and fundamental prep for college/trade is poor (poor math etc)
A potential savings list; not ranked, no editorial comment on pro/cons. Not mutually exclusive:
1. Slightly larger classes with more “Direct Instruction” and less edu-fads (like in NSW Australia – no more edu fads that have NO evidence, like play-based learning, group work, inquiry-based learning, the development of ‘self-directed learners’, teachers as facilitators, so-called ‘21st Century skills’, general capabilities, creative thinking, growth mindset, ‘emotional regulation strategies’, ‘student impulse control’, teaching emotional intelligence, collaborative classrooms, flexible learning spaces, co-teaching and constructivist teaching ).
2. Merger of 4 school boards into 2 language based boards (savings of $500M from admin and busing etc?)
3. Merger of 4 school boards into 2 for rural areas (ie. Not GTA or Hamilton or Ottawa, or London). The North, Simcoe, Kingston, SW Ontario, etc all get merged
4.Much Less French Immersion (mainly used for elementary grade streaming by parents in Toronto, Kitchener), especially outside of Eastern Ontario/Ottawa
5. An end to some SHSM courses (eg Emergency) in high school that really need a college diploma (eg. Paramedic) anyways to get a job. Less courses like Fashion, “Living and Working with Children” etc esp in “Social Sciences”
6. A ban on school board advertising or allowing unqualified students in their schools (eg. children with no Catholic baptism certificate or English kids in French schools)
7. $5000 grant for those that want to go to independent or charter schools (saves govt $8000 per child)
8. 4 year freeze on teacher salaries (2% raises for EA/ECE ec). Family doctors had a government imposed multi-year freeze and are only up 1% total over the decade.
9. An end to free parking for teachers (esp in Toronto, Ottawa etc). Pay “market rates” (which may be zero) – It is the LAW for federal civil servants
The alternative is a Education Premium Surtax (like the Health Premium Surtax that McGuinty brought in amd brings in $3B/yr). However, only 35% are now in favour of more taxes for education (OISE survey)