Today, members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will participate in a National Day of Action to highlight the importance of publicly funded public education in Canada.

“Ontario faces a very serious threat to our world-renowned public education system with the Ford government’s damaging cuts,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond.

“The Ford government has planned to cut 10,000 teachers, decreased per pupil funding, refused to provide adequate funding for students with exceptionalities and avoided bargaining in good faith with the province’s educators. They clearly care very little for public education and the students it serves.”

The Ford government’s scheme to introduce e-learning courses and then sell those courses for profit to other jurisdictions is also worrisome.

“We’ve seen privatization in the form of charter schools and school voucher programs in the U.S. and Alberta, which have siphoned off money from the public system, putting many public schools in jeopardy. Studies have shown that these alternative schools provide few if any benefits beyond what public schools provide.”

“This strikes at the heart of what public education represents –and that is an equitable education for every student regardless of personal circumstances or geographic location.”

Organized by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, educators across Canada will participate in the National Day of Action by wearing red, displaying ETFO logos and signs as they enter schools and engage in social media messaging with the hashtag #redfored. Education International and various affiliates, including the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers in the U.S., will also provide support through social media channels. 
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.