The 2017 budget includes an additional investment of $6.4 billion over three years in Ontario's education system. This reflects the government's commitment to help learners by supporting them from full-day kindergarten to post-secondary education and beyond. The more we fund programs which help young people, the more our province’s future economy benefits.
Ontario is expanding the successful Specialist High Skills Majors program (SHSM) over the next three years to introduce 17,000 more Grade 11 and 12 students to career options while obtaining their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Our government is also supporting students through an expansion of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). By next year, it is estimated that some 230,000 students receiving OSAP will get more help. Eligible low-income students will receive free tuition, while many more students will receive more generous grants and loans. We have also committed to expanding the minimum salary requirement for repaying the provincial portion of OSAP loans from $25,000 to $35,000.
Ontario is investing in free and low-cost digital, online textbooks and educational resources. Through a partnership with eCampusOntario, the Ontario Open Textbooks Initiative will focus on Ontario-specific content in areas where the most significant impact and cost savings for students can be realized.
These changes and more are commitments that the Ontario government has made to allow young people to reach their full potential without limitations due to financial burdens. When we invest in youth, we invest in the positive development of our society and our future.
FACT: Ontario is helping 100,000 more children aged 0-4 access licensed child care through significant operating, subsidy and capital investments.
FACT: Starting January 1, 2018, Ontario will become the first province to have universal prescription medication coverage through the OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare program. This will provide all children and youth 24 years old or younger access to more than 4,400 drugs including medications used to treat cancer and rare diseases, at no cost.
This article is an excerpt from my Summer 2017 Community Newsletter. To read more, please click the link below.
Attachments:Summer 2017 Community Update Newsletter
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