While the education budget increased 35 per cent over the past eight years, salaries and benefits for Ministry of Education bureaucrats went up 62 per cent. The number of education administrators who earn more than $100,000 a year increased by 181 per cent over the same period. This is unacceptable and robs resources from the classroom.The column also quotes from a 2008 People for Education report on schools regarding the funding formula review that never really quite happened as promised. It also speaks to giving teachers more freedom and a restoration of the fall report card that is now a fall "progress report."
Another concern is every year parents are paying over half a billion dollars for essential learning tools, such as textbooks and science equipment. This means parents with two children in school are paying an additional $570 annually.
Apart from yearly funding increases, there are other measures required to make our public education system better than it is now. Education is not a one-size-fits-all system. Schools in different parts of Ontario have different and unique needs.
Some of this op-ed doesn't really read as though Barrett wrote it himself— and I've met the man a few times so I think I can tell. The question I'm left with is whether this is something sent from PC head office for all MPPs that have op-ed columns in papers across the province or is more of a runoff.
The part that excites me is that it also starts to present what a Tory platform on education could look like. Since it's received nary a mention in the PC Changebook— well, except for a bullet point that's identical to the headline on the column above. That's exciting because the Liberals are showing all the signs that while they are developing counterpoints to the higher-traction items such as hydro, they're going to want to lead on education.