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NDP promises $60M a year to renovate, repurpose aging Ontario schools

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she’ll help keep aging and under-utilized schools open for community use if elected on June 12.

Horwath says that starting in 2016, school boards will be able to apply for money to renovate and repurpose facilities threatened with closure so that others can take advantage of the space.

She says the program _ which will cost $60 million annually _ will help “protect schools that are at the heart of our communities” and ensure communities can “provide affordable activities in the evenings and weekends.”

In a release issued Saturday morning, Horwath takes aim at both the governing Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives for their education plans.

The Liberals have not announced an education policy but included $11 billion to build or repair schools in their spring budget.

The Tories, meanwhile, have vowed to eliminate 9,700 “non-teaching positions,” increase class sizes and reduce the number of early childhood educators in full-day kindergarten classes as part of their effort to balance the budget.