Wynne Liberals put rural, northern schools at further risk of closure

Yesterday the Wynne Liberals quietly released their 2017-18 education funding allotment and the news isn’t good for rural and northern students and their families.

The Geographic Circumstances Grant was slashed another $6 million, on top of the $10 million in cuts Wynne has made since she took office.

“Figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Education show that Kathleen Wynne’s newest cuts to classrooms will mean fewer supports for students, more layoffs, and even more school closures across rural and northern Ontario,” said NDP Education Critic MPP Peggy Sattler. 

The Geographic Circumstances Grant is a program designed to address higher costs faced by rural and northern schools due to their remoteness. The $6 million slash applies to the 2017/18 fiscal year, bringing the total cut to that grant by Premier Kathleen Wynne to $16 million since 2014.

“At a time when rural and northern families need investments in education and kids, the Wynne Liberals are continuing to cut this critical program and putting the future of our students at risk. Families deserve better,” said Sattler. 

Children with special needs are also losing out under the Wynne Liberals.  This year’s allotment included more than $4.6 million in cuts to special education programs across 15 different school boards.

“Students with special needs will suffer disproportionately because of deep cuts to the services families depend on,” said Sattler. “Premier Wynne simply doesn’t get the challenges rural and remote schools and communities face – and she obviously isn’t listening to parents and teachers who know that children need more support and resources in education, not fewer.”