Conservatives want to delay full-day kindergarten until deficit eliminated

TORONTO – The Progressive Conservatives say Ontario should delay further expansion of its full-day kindergarten program until the province’s books are balanced.

PC Leader Tim Hudak supported the roll out of all-day learning for four and five-year-olds before the 2011 election, but now says it’s something a province with a $12 billion deficit cannot afford.

Hudak says tough decisions have to be made, and he’d rather focus efforts on improving student results in literacy, math and science and put a renewed emphasis on skilled trades.

He says the reality is not whether a program is good or not, it’s whether the government has the money to pay for it _ and the government can’t afford to spend $1.5 billion a year on full day kindergarten.

Full-day kindergarten is currently available in more than 1,700 of the 4,000 elementary schools in Ontario.

Hudak says the Tories would want to review the all-day learning program to see if a teacher and an early childhood educator are needed in both Junior and Senior kindergarten classes.

The Tories released a white paper on education that also calls for the elimination of 10,000 non-teaching positions from school boards, but Hudak says he wouldn’t want to eliminate educational assistants for special needs students.




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Conservatives want to delay full-day kindergarten until deficit eliminated

  1. *sigh* If there’s a silver bullet to all of our economic problems.. it’s education. And earlier education always provides more bang for the buck then later education.

    It’s not a “cost”, Mr. Hudak.. it’s an investment.

    • If it is an investment, then we should pay for it. Deficit spending is just a transfer of wealth from the young to their elders.

      • But if the young end up using the same roads and hospitals their elders built, then using your “logic” it would be a gift.

        • Not really. Things like roads and hospitals are capital costs – they are generally paid for over the life of the asset. So if a hospital (for example) is built to last 50 years, the costs will generally be recovered from taxpayers over the 50 years.
          Deficit financing doesn’t work that way – it pushes current costs to future tax payers.

          • Except those costs are being used to make sure future tax payers have better lives.

      • Says the logic of dumb investors.

        Smart investors know that taking on debt to make an investment is a good deal if you’re sure the return will beat the interest charges.

        Or perhaps an easier example, is it better to leave your kids college fund in the mason jar under the bed, or put it into investments so that it gains interest?

    • I’m very conservative, but I can agree with that. Kindergarten is much more like what we learned in Grade 1 when I was a kid than playtime my kindergarten was anyway.

      Aside from that, there are huge opportunity costs that parents have to give up not having a form of inexpensive, safe and reliable child care. I also don’t mind full blown public daycare either, though the left has to be honest with voters and point out that it will require a 40-60% increase in education spending.

      But there are certainly a lot of corporate welfare and left-wing entitlements we can get rid of without cutting education. Unfortunately they are a lot harder and a lot more expensive to find. Partially because of CUPE, and partially because of benefiting special interests.

  2. Excellent idea. He should also take away the requirement that only fully accredited teachers work at all day kindergarten, which the government’s own experts say is a waste of money.
    If you want to have a service like this it has to be paid for. There are a number of ways of eliminating the deficit: tax increases, spending reductions, or a combination of the two. But until the defecit is eliminated there should be no new big ticket spending items.

  3. Hudak seems determined to wear the Harris-lite label. We’ve seen that movie. Don’t need the sequel.

    • I dunno — from what I’ve seen he’s not Harris lite, he’s Harris on steroids.

      • Nah…Harris was a bully and a tyrant. This guy’s a wannabe.

        • He might be a wannabe, but if he follows through on his policy proposals, he’s going to match up pretty well with Mike. Right to work legislation? Even Harris wouldn’t go there.

  4. Its about time someone stopped the education orthodoxy

    • DOWN WITH LEARNINS!

  5. The neat thing about Hudak is that anytime he says we should spent less on something the opposition parties can say “but there’s money to subsidize horse racing?”

    I hope it is enough once the Liberals get their act together, do the right thing and recall parliament.

  6. Why not outsource all government services as well? Imagine an Ontario with no welfare, no disability payments, no child benefits …it will be the nirvana of Conservatives. Ontario could just be the birth place of Tea Party Canada. What a joy to have a true conservative like Hudak.

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