The problem is not just with Ontario's Ministry of Education: Here in the States, where our per capital K-12 expenditures are very near the top world-wide (I think only Luxembourg(!) exceeds us), not just parents, but _teachers_ have to dig into their pockets for basic classroom supplies. The reason is not hard to discern, if you bother to visit a typical urban school district administrative building: the one here in Jacksonville (Duval County), Florida, is a six-floor monstrosity, whose parking lot covers (I estimate) at least seven acres of prime riverfront real estate. The building is chock-full of bureaucrats, none of whom seems to do very much in the way of supporting actual classroom instruction; if anything, their interactions with the line teachers is inimical to it, consisting mostly of ladening them with ever increasing burdens of paperwork and regulations. Their prime function, however, is to administer the reporting requirements that come with receiving federal and state government, of which precious little seems actually to filter down to useful classroom activities.I'm old enough to remember when the entire administrative staff of (an admittedly rural at the time) Osceola County, Florida, consisted of the superintendent of public education and one secretary, housed in a hut on the parking lot of a high school. Adjusting for population size and added "educational" functions, this would translate into a modest single-story office building sitting on perhaps an acre of land for modern Duval County.
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