Monday, January 16, 2017

Grant for needy kids should be used as intended

TDSB director of education John Malloy
Last year, the Ontario government gave the Toronto District School Board about $144 million in grants to help level the academic playing field by providing supports to kids least likely to succeed: those from low-income or single-parent families, immigrants and others at increased risk of not graduating.

This kind of investment has the potential to have an enduring impact. The evidence that demographic factors shape educational outcomes is overwhelming. If governments are going to even begin to break the cycle of poverty and ensure equality of opportunity, investments like Ontario’s Learning Opportunities Grant, which is meant to fund breakfast programs, homework clubs and other educational interventions, are essential.

Assuming, that is, the money is used as intended. But a new report from Social Planning Toronto, a non-profit community organization, shows that in Toronto, that’s no safe assumption.

A significant portion of the grant money, some $61 million, was diverted away from at-risk TDSB students last year to other budgetary needs of the cash-strapped school board. As so often happens, in a time of scarcity, it’s the most vulnerable who are being asked to wait.  (more...)

Darwin has no place in the classroom.
Further commentary:

And, out in the hinterland:

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