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You can't count on system, MPP Klees tells parents

Jan 23, 2007
Simone Joseph, Staff Writer


The Liberals have failed parents and students by not paying enough attention to the York Region School Board's funding needs, Markham MPP candidate Alex Yuan and Conservative education critic Frank Klees said Monday afternoon.

They were responding to stories about parents in York Region paying for after-school English and math tutoring, a pilot program for grades 4 to 6 that began in October 2005 in York.

"(The students) are still young. These are the fundamentals, the basics. We need to help those weak in these areas," Mr. Yuan said.

Parents should not have to pay for such a fundamental part of the curriculum the politicians said.

"The message to parents: You no longer can count on the public education system to teach your child the basics," Mr. Klees said.

The problem lies with the funding formula for school boards which needs to be re-vamped, said Mr. Klees, MPP for Oak Ridges.

The Conservatives appointed Mordechai Rozanski to review Ontario's funding formula, Mr. Klees said, adding the Liberals should have followed his recommendations, which suggested more funding especially in the area of special education.

"I can't tell you the number of parents who are upset that they have to access private tutoring service. They believe students should get (help) from their own system," he said.

"I don't question the motivation of the York Region School Board. I believe York Region has done an exemplary job.

"They (the Liberals) were more interested in announcing new programs, making attractive announcements, but failed to deal with the fundamental issues of education."

Mr. Yuan pointed out the school board is working on "a shoestring".

"What can you do when you have no money?" Mr. Klees said.

What do you think of this issue? Should the school board be directing parents to pay for tutoring within the school? Send your thoughts to tlatchford@yrng.com

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