Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil says he will give $16 million in extra grants to schools next year if elected.

The Liberal program would provide grants to allow schools to spend the money how they see fit.

“It may be used for extra teacher assistance. It may be used for providing a reading and writing program at the end of the day. That would be up to the individual schools to assess their unique needs,” McNeil said.


When asked where the money would come from, McNeil said it would be partly dependant on his government growing the economy through measures like lowering the small business tax. But he didn’t go into any further detail, saying the party would be release a fully costed platform in the coming days of the campaign.

The grant money promised yesterday would be separate from general revenue. McNeil promised $16 million in the 2010-2011 school year. That would grow to $18 million the next year and then $19 million in 2012-2013.

Schools and student advisory councils would work in partnership with school boards to apply for the grants.

McNeil got some support at his morning press conference from District 2 Halifax Regional School Board member Gina Conrod. She said she was happy to see any new money going towards schools.

Conrod showed up to lobby for more per-student funding from the province. She presented a draft budget document showing the province was spending $7,235 per student for this school year.

“We’re underfunded now so we need all we can get,” Conrod said to reporters.

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