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June 26, 2009

Government Investments Realize Advancements in K-12 Education

The renewal and growth of the K-12 education system continued during the 2008-09 school year with unprecedented investments by the Provincial Government. The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Education, said today that this school year has seen further improvements to school infrastructure, as well as enhancements to programming and resources for students, teachers and staff.

"At this time of year, we look back to see what�s been accomplished in classrooms and schools over the past 10 months and we�ve got a lot to be proud of," said Minister King. "We are particularly pleased with the massive amount of funding available for improvements for infrastructure which is resulting in projects to improve school buildings across the province."

Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation has allocated an additional $31 million for repairs and maintenance, extensions and new school construction bringing the total budget to $121.5 million. This is an increase of over $100 million since 2004, resulting in approximately 500 projects, including over 200 roofing projects and 190 building envelope projects, such as the replacement of windows and siding. In total, 470 air quality projects have been concluded.

"Given that there are 279 schools in the province, this in an incredible amount of work that is having a positive impact across the system," said Minister King. "The repair and maintenance of our school buildings has been identified as a priority by our government and we are seeing very tangible results as schools undergo significant improvements."

In addition, new schools are being built in Paradise, L�Anse au Loup, Baie Verte, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Placentia, Port Hope Simpson, Port Saunders and Torbay.

This school year has also seen advances in programming and resources. Teaching units were added to the system, class sizes have been capped in Kindergarten to Grade 4 and Grade 7, with a similar reduction planned for Grades 5 and 8 in 2009-10 and the implementation of the ISSP/Pathways report continues.

"I offer my congratulations to students and teachers as another successful school year comes to an end," said Minister King. "Our government continues to make strategic investments to support the growth of the education system, which is critical to the success of our students and province. I wish everyone a safe and happy summer, and in particular I offer good luck to our Grade 12 graduates who will be taking up new challenges after high school. Best wishes to all of you."

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Media contact:
Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624

2009 06 26                                                    9:40 a.m.

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