More supports for students learning to read, Manitoba Liberals promise

Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont announced Saturday his party would invest in more support for students learning how to read.

The Liberals pledged to increase funding for K-12 education by $6 million in the first year

Dougald Lamont announced the Manitoba Liberal party's plan to improve literacy in the province, if the party is elected on Tuesday. (Marouane Refak/CBC)

Manitoba's Liberal party announced Saturday it will inject more than $6 million per year into literacy programs and to hire educational assistants in schools if elected.

A 2016 report shows Manitoba has often scored last in literacy and numeracy scores across Canada. 

Lamont said the Liberals would hire more education assistants and create more literacy programs with the goal of making sure that every child in Manitoba can read by the time they finish Grade 2.

"Even more than new schools what teachers need is support from educational assistants," Lamont said.  "If you're dealing with class sizes and you're dealing with kids with learning disabilities you have to have those supports in the classroom. They weren't there under the NDP and they're certainly not there under the PCs."

The Liberal's plan also includes developing a 10 year education plan with teachers, parents, students and school divisions and a curriculum review led by educators. The party said it will invest $500,000 for the plan and review.

Lamont believes there hasn't been enough emphasis on improving education.

"The entire focus of this government is on controlling costs and not on quality of education," he said. "The PCs and the NDP have both been retreating on funding for education." 

The Manitoba Liberals also promised during the election campaign to invest in French education and child care spaces if elected.

Sign up for CBC Manitoba's newsletter for insight into the latest election news. Every week until the campaign ends, we'll send you a roundup of what you need to know.