As a new school year begins, labour strife is once again affecting Ontario’s public schools. Elementary school teachers are engaged in a “work to rule” campaign and the possibility of a strike looms.
As parents settle back into school year routines, it’s inevitable that questions regarding education spending and the performance of our schools will return to the forefront. This is particularly true in provinces like Ontario and Alberta that are struggling with precarious public finances.
Media reports often imply that spending on public elementary and secondary schools in Canada is dropping. But is this actually the case?
Provincial cries for more federal money are as old as Confederation, and rarely have any substance to them.
Imagine you’re near what you thought was a dormant volcano but it suddenly erupts. Assuming you escape, you might later reflect that there was nothing “sudden” about it.
Soon, the Wynne government will present its first budget since being re-elected with a majority last June. This will be a critical test, particularly with respect to the bond market and credit rating agencies.
It’s budget season again, with provincial governments across Canada delivering their annual budgets amid a backdrop of falling commodity prices and provincial deficits. And once again, a mythology surrounding education spending will likely influence spending choices from coast to coast.