Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CCPA Report on School Funding in Ontario

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has just released a report which looks at education funding in Ontario - No Time for Complacency: Education Funding Reality Check. The report provides an unkind review of the funding framework for elementary and secondary education in Ontario. The CCPA report takes a cross-jurisdictional and comparative look at education funding (Canada and the United States), providing background and data. The "stats" are what they are, numbers, and one thing we all know is that data and analysis can vary greatly between groups: plus, we do need to keep in mind that the Ministry are the only ones who have access to all the data.

The CCPA's final recommendation is somewhat disappointing:
We need an independent body responsible for accountability and oversight for public education in Ontario; a body that can speak credibly about the funding and programming that are required for student success, and which has the resources
to evaluate the effectiveness of school boards and the Government of Ontario in achieving our educational objectives.
In today's fiscally conservative political landscape, and this rings true regardless of which side of the fence you happen to land, recommending a layer of bureacracy on top of a well-established Ministry (i.e. a big Ministry) is, politically, a little "yesteryearish".