TORONTO--Recent investments in public education by the Eves Government only address the recommendations of the Rozanski Report for immediate action, and will fall far short of full implementation of the Report's recommendations, according to a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Adding Rozanski: A Roadmap to Implementation, authored by Hugh Mackenzie, is the first technical paper of the Ontario Alternative Budget project for 2003.
According to Mackenzie, the $1.8 billion cited by Rozanski and reported in the media underestimates the total value, over the four-year phase-in period, of Rozanski's own specific recommendations for funding improvements. When updated funding benchmarks and funding increases for salary and benefit negotiations are included in calculations for the four-school-year implementation period, Rozanski's recommendations require increased annual funding of more than $3.5 billion.
Ontario schools are still waiting for approximately $3 billion of that amount, over the three school years beginning in September 2003:
- $1,270 million in 2003-4;
- $835 million in 2004-5;
- $870 million in 2005-6.
By the end of the phase-in period, and according to Rozanski's recommendations as implied in the report and by the data included, total education funding should be $17.8 billion.
"The $1 billion increase in funding for 2002-3 recently touted by the Minister falls far short of what is needed to restore confidence in public education in Ontario", Mackenzie said. "If the Eves' Government is truly committed Rozanski's recommendations, the 2003-4 announcement for school funding must be $16.1 billion--consistent with full implementation of the Report. Anything less signals a return to the slow but steady starvation that characterized the funding formula's first five years."