NOVEMBER 04, 2021
TORONTO, ON – Today, the Ford government delivered its fall economic statement, void of any mention of education, proving once again that Ontario’s students and educators are not a priority for this government.
“As the Ford government pivots to economic recovery, they continue to deny the important role public education plays in generating economic growth and social benefits,” says Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Karen Brown. “Ontario’s current government cannot be trusted to preserve a world-class education system nor can they be trusted to protect students, ETFO members and other education workers.”
Earlier this year, the Financial Accountability Office found a funding gap in public education of $12.3 billion over the next nine years. Adds Brown, “Today’s fiscal update does not address this gap, leaving students and educators with even less support and resources than what are needed for years to come.”
Premier Ford and Minister Bethlenfalvy have spoken about the need to “build Ontario,” but missing from this “promise” is their commitment to a strong publicly funded education system. As Ontario recovers post-pandemic, the Ford government must provide adequate public education funding to:
- ensure all students have equal opportunity and access to high-quality education;
- support student and staff mental health needs;
- promote and ensure equity and inclusion in schools;
- provide quality, safe learning and working environments;
- support professional learning opportunities; and
- commit to lower class sizes to improve safety and learning.
Notes Brown, “Time spent previewing the Progressive Conservatives’ 2022 election platform should have been spent outlining the government’s commitment to public sector services, including publicly funded education. Again, the Ford government has demonstrated their disregard for ETFO members and other education workers, students and their families. Ontario deserves better.”
ETFO represents approximately 83,000 members, including public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, designated early childhood educators, education support personnel, and professional support personnel. Visit BuildingBetterSchools.ca.