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Premier mulls school fundraising rules

Ontario schools may soon see new guidelines on fundraising activities that, in some cases, are paying for such classroom essentials as text books.

Ontario schools may soon see new guidelines on fundraising activities that, in some cases, are paying for such classroom essentials as text books.

The government is looking at putting new rules in place to clarify what is appropriate and inappropriate fundraising, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday.

“There are always going to be schools and parents who want to add a few frills,” he said.

“That is one thing. But what we will not and cannot accept here in Ontario is that kids are out there fundraising for the basics.”

The premier’s comments came in the wake of a report that warned Ontario could develop a system of “have” and “have-not” schools through fundraising activities.

The parent-led group People for Education, which released the report Tuesday, said the province’s schools raised more than a half-billion dollars through fundraising, fees, corporate donations and other charges over the past academic year.

But not all schools were raking in the cash, the report found. The level of fundraising in the 2009-10 year varied from school to school, ranging from nothing to $200,000.

Parents continue to raise funds for traditional items, such as graduation ceremonies and student awards, but more than half of student councils also report raising funds for basics such as computers, classroom supplies and textbooks, it said.

Money is also raised for things like building renovations, and fees are also reported to be rising for activities like field trips and sports.

 
 
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