Monday, September 03, 2007

Education funding

The education funding issue may rear its head again in the upcoming provincal election. The Star recently republished its party line on the subject ranting that 'the school funding formula is flawed'.

Yours truly replied to the editorial - (not published)

Your editorial on school funding ("Urgent need to fix funding formula" - August 27th 2007) would receive a failing grade if submitted as school work. You offer no evidence that the school funding formula is broken.

You don't discuss how spending per pupil in Ontario is not widely different that the average for Canada. You mention that some boards have had difficulty balancing their budgets - but don't mention how many have managed.

That trustees on some boards have chosen to confront the province to the point of having their boards placed under supervision could evidence an issue with the formula, However it could equally be evidence of political grandstanding. You offer nothing to indicate that the former is more likely.

No formula for funding anything is perfect. However, an imperfect formula is not necessarily broken. Since the education reforms of the latter '90s, student performance in Ontario - as evidenced by standard testing - has steadily improved. Ontario students are no longer laggards when compared with those from other provinces. It's hard to see how the flaws in the formula merit the urgency you suggest.

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