So economist Don Drummond says Ontario’s education spending should be cut back? Quel surprise.
The Sun has questioned school spending right back to the Dalton McGuinty Liberal government’s first budget in 2004.
A government graph I wrote about then showed student enrollment dropping by 80,000 over the next four years, but spending growing by $2.1 billion.
We pointed this out not because we hate kids, but because McGuinty’s spending on education has never matched reality, nor has there been any solid plan for how to pay for it.
Let’s go through what Drummond had to say:
Drop education spending to 1% annual growth: It didn’t have to be this bad, but since the Liberals jacked up spending to 4.6% annual increases, even though enrolment has dropped by 120,000 kids in the last decade, that’s what it will take to right the ship. This is partly delayed pain — with enrolment dropping, jobs should have been scaled back years ago, but instead, the Liberals preserved them through new programs such as smaller primary class sizes — then added to the costs by doling out healthy raises.
Restrain teacher compensation: Good luck. Drummond suggests keeping this in line with what other public sector workers have received, which still means an increase, but more modest than the 11.4% to 12.55% teachers got in their last four-year contract.