Public Values

Dependence on parent fundraising grows huge gap between public schools

Trustees for Education discussion paper calls for equity in education.

Flemington Public School in TorontoTORONTO — The schoolkids lined up on the bright stairway of Flemington Public School say hello in singsong voices to principal Lyn Davy as she passes them on her way to the second-floor library.

Their winsome faces full of promise and hope look no different than those of students in any one of the board's 470 elementary schools. But there is a difference in one critical area of their life: food. The school's lunch program is in peril and come September, the students – who live in households where the average income is $16,000 – could go hungry.

"It would be far easier to cancel the program," says Davy. "But hungry kids have trouble learning."

Students who live in poverty fall behind in school as early as Grade 3, according to a recent survey of Toronto's public elementary schools.

Across town, Blythwood Public School in Lawrence Park doesn't need to provide its students with lunch. But the students can choose from an after-lunch menu that includes Irish dancing, music IQ, beadology, basketball and Artstart...

To read further, or to see the Discussion Paper on Equity in Education, please click on the links below:

Links and sources
  School funding gap gets wider, by Patty Winsa, Toronto Star, April 11, 2009
  Equitable Education? The Cost of Extracurriculars in Ontario's Schools, by Jonathan Scott, Director of Policy, Ontario Student Trustees' Association, January, 2009
  Food bank model becoming standard in education funding, by Wendy Stueck, Globe and Mail, September 9, 2009

Posted: September 17, 2009

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