Waterloo Ed Good,
Education is a provincial government’s costliest concern, and it is getting more so all the time. Spending on schools, vocational institutes, universities and community colleges now accounts for 41 cents of every dollar spent by the Ontario government. In absolute terms, the current budget calls for an expenditure of $1.55 billion-which is ten times higher than a decade ago. We now have Canada’s largest, costliest, best-staffed, most experimental and most innovative, educational system. Unfortunately, it is not the most efficient, nor the most effective. It is wasteful. It is administrateively topheavy; it is remote from the people who pay for it, It is sometimes extravagent, it is occasionally grandiose, and it does not always teach to right things. And too often it ignores Canada’s cultural heritage. The educational priorities of a liberal government will be directed toward efficienies, greater effectiveness, and more control on costs. The system has been built, the task now is to get it running properly. Education in Ontario must become more responsive to the people it serves-and more responsible to the people who pay for it. This can’t , be done under . present financial arrangements: Education today is simply too big a business to be financed by municipal property taxes. Accordingly, a Nixon government’s most fundamental reform will be the transfer, within its first term of office,
There are probably several facets to the problem of student unemployment at two levels. The first level involves the needs for summer employment of those students who need to at least partially finance their own education, while the second touches on the growing problem of a lack of meaningful employment related to the training received at the university and community college after graduation. The difficulties of summer underemployment can ~ be partially met through a general quickening of the rate of economic expansion which will create jobs not only for those ordinary working men who are now unable to find them but also for student summer lab&r. In short term the NDP proposes to do this through a massive housing program which will commit the government of Ontario, and the private sector to the construction of 150,000 housing units in the first year of office. Such a program will create about 70,000 immediate jobs while at the same time filling a pressing social need. With the expansion of the construction sector, many other ancillary jobs will quickly become availablb. At the same time, several other areas of crying need could be stimulated to create meaningful summer work for students. Among these would be work in ecological monitoring and contbol, the expansion of recreational facilities near our large urban centres, and summer enrichment programs for children in economically deprived neighbourhoods. The problems of the lack of meaningful jots after graduation from the universities and community colleges are, of course, far more complex. Partly the current difficulties are the result of the over-expansion of many specialized university departments and graduate schools, partly they are the result of a general slowdown in economic growth, and partly they are the result of an economy which is largely under the control of branch plants of foreign corporations which do very little of the necessary research and development ifi Canada However, aside from the general pump-priming
of 8b percent of education _costs away from land assessment. Twenty percent of $1.55 billion is quite enough for municipalities to raise from land assessments; provincial revenues must payy for the rest. .The remaining elements of the liberal educational policy are directed towards increased efficiency and cost control. A Nixon government will reduce the costs of school and university buildings by requiring architects to submit competitive tenders. (In one school district, North York, this technique resulted in saving of 28 percent.) The liberal government would establish an independent university commisision to oversee the development of post-graduate education centres in Ontario. At present, there is no agency which can scrutinize applications for new graduate programs in the light of manpower demands and duplicated facilities elsewhere in the province. Post-graduate education is one of the costliest elements m our total “mix”; a liberal government hopes ensure that, at a tiinr: when we’re short of doctors, the graduate schools aren’t busy turning out nuclear physicists who can’t find jobs. A liberal government by using a trimester system would not release the full student population on the community at one time. This along with expansion of present student job programs would level the student employment more equally through the year. For example, students wishing to take jobs such as ski instructqrs, during the winter could fit this into a tri-semester program more easily then at
which will create much additional employment in Ontario, any responsible government in Ontario must assume a responsibility for the development of research facilities -which will generate those new productive processes and products which will allow Canada to compete effectively,on the world market. Innovation is at the heart of much of modern economic growth, and it is precisely that which is not .being done.
The overall health or lack of health of OUT economy has a magnified effect on new entrants to the labour market whether for just the summer months or on a full time basis. While this part of the problem falls largely in the federal field, I and my party will continue to urge the Ottawa government to bring into being policies aimed at restoring faith in our economic system and assuring sufficient growth to provide employment. Specificially, Ontario should contiue to provide special projects (e.g. Sweep) and should provide incentives to other organizations to undertake environmental work. During the past few years, Ontario has operated advertising campaigns to provide summer jobs. We should add to this a comprehensive information service for graduates. Information would not only bring the employer and employee together but would also attempt to forecast futtie needs so that course or program changes can be made by the student. I realize that Canada manpower is involved in this type of solution, however, an Ontario program could be much more related to the universities and colleges themselves thus offering greater opportunity for success. As a lecturer in urban planning at Waterloo lutheran I have seen how placement also depends on course content.
We would empower the legislature’s committee on human resources to carry out a wide-ranging public investigation of education costs, to determine the extent of duplication that exists in various areas between the colleges of applied arts and technology, the secondary schools, the agricultural institutions and the universities. The committee’s enquiries should be assisted by independent management consultants The present government’s approach to this idea provides an interesting contrast. The most searching review of educational costs ‘noe underway is being conducted under the authority of the former deputy minister of education-the civil servant who, along with Bil Davis had the most to do with incurring them. The accused ii standing in judgment of himself, so no one should be surprised at a “not guilty” verdict. Pass legislation requiring provincially-assisted universities and colleges to make full disclosure of their accounts according to uniform categories determined by the provincial auditor; and empower the auditor to establish regulations concerning budgetary and financial control procedures.
that is the only current education for the poor, is a university system of the well-to-do.
Again in the long term, education must be made into a continuous process which allows people to enter the system at any time during their lives and which stops to assume that all educational work must be done within the confines of the class room. Much technical training, for example, could well be done in the factories and by employers with assistance in theoretical training by the state through its school system.Large sums of money could be saved in this way, and could then be directed into socially useful and essential areas.
study ways of improving financial to needy secondary as well as post education students, in order to open education to all social- and ethnic
To start with, the NDP will work to make schools the social and cultural centres of the neighbourhoods in which they are located. Expensive facilities must be made available to the general public on a year-round basis for recreation, community services such as counselling and social assistance, and an extensive adult education program. A program of teacher’s assistants can help to relieve the need for more and more highly paid teachers while at the same time making it possible to give much more individual attention to those students with reading difficulties and other problems. Some savings can also be made in the areas of school administration, where costs appear to have run rampant in recent ye’ars, particularly since the inception of the county school boards.
that all courses should have a specific employment value, however, if government, universities and industry could share the. unemployment problem, solutions could be applied in any of the areas.
Fdr many years, the people of Ontario : felt that the ‘sky’ was the limit in education. Today however the prevalent feeling is t.o have the best system we can afford. The earlier philosophy was essential to cope with the casts associated with the high
We must assistance secondary up post-secondary peoples of Ontario
One of the natural costs of a highly developed industrial society is an educational system of enormous dimensions. It is mad for anyone to suggest that costs Fan be cut drastically overnight, or even that they can be cut at all, since large areas of educational need are still almost entirely ignored. However, the cost of educationncan probably be kept to a steady percentage of the-gross provincial budget, say forty percent, through a thorough re-examination of the goals and aims of our entire educational system.
At the same time, also; our university grant system must be reformed so that much less emphasis is placed on. the over-production of graduate students in fields in which there is obviously not as great a demand as the supply warrants. Probably extensive manpower research must be undertaken to set levels of training in our post-secondary institutions. Generally speaking, the principle of equal accessfor all people in our society must be applied to-university entrance. Ultimately, this must mean the removal of all fees such as tuition which act as a deterrent to university attendence. However, it is quite clear that given the current financial, position of the Ontario government, it is very unlikely that sufficient funds can be found to meet the increased costs. Probably, a long-term and progressive reduction in fees which parallel saving; made elsewhere in the educational system can work to effect a transfer of monies from a wasteful part of the system to a useful one. One of the major problems inherent in the present stuent grant and loan schemes is ,the difficulty of establishing independence on the part of a student. In view of the fact that all people over eighteen are now supposed to be citizens with all the responsibilities and privileges of citizens, it is probably unfair to assume that the state should be allowed to decide which student is independent and which is not. However, the giving of automatic grants to all students will lead to great disparities between students in terms of the funds they have available. (Although it would probably be legitimate to suggest that those disparities exist now.) An, additional difficulty with the loan system is that many people, particularly those of working class origins, live in very strong fear of debt, and consequently
Nor can we any longer afford to have standing idle about one third of the year.
I personally would like to see loans increased and grants reserved for very special circumstances. Every dollar bf grant could support approximately 15 dollars of loan under current interest. rates. My philosophy is that students should be considered as responsible adults and not as an economic part of the family. Re-payment of the loan upon graduation could be based on a percentage of income with any balance owing after a reasonable length of time written off as a grant. This system would insure justice to those graduates who select socially important but low income occupations. ’ I realize that this answer is a departure’ from, the current government policy but I must state it, as my experience with students has shown that they want to be seperate economic as well as social entities. I would help in this search for individual identity.
refuse to take student loans. Since method of financing a university they usually do not go. The result. which exists largely for the benefit
I would not suggest
birth rate and a large number of new immigrants. Education was justifiably a high priority item. Today, neti social measures have legitimate demands on our tax dollars and education must relinquish its singular dominance in government expenditures. In the public jurisdictions last year a majority of costs decreased from the year before but more-canbe done. Buildings and equipment must reflect the real world and school administration must be open to administrators who are specially trained in the art of management. Nothing in my answer must be construed as a cut back on salaries of quality teachers or the purchase of necessary, sometimes highly sophisticated, equipment. We must not overreact in the face of changing priorities. Drastic decreases in education spending are unrealistic but increases can be controlled without decreasing quality by astute administration. The question of accountability is as important as cost control combined with quality and requires an interested involved community of interest for each type of eductional institution. The government, in conjunction with community groups, must articulate educational goals so that each seperate contributing entity can see opportunity for its own satisfaction within the over-all goal. On the university campus students are an important factor in the community and should share with others in the responsibility of directing and evaluating their institution. . friday