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ETFO - Growing gaps in elementary education point to need to fix Ontario’s education funding formula

June 25, 2018

From special education supports to guidance and specialist teachers and school fundraising, the latest People for Education annual report points to growing gaps in public elementary education that need to be addressed by fixing Ontario’s education funding formula, according to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

“Principals across the province are reporting that existing mental health resources and front line supports are insufficient for students with behavioural issues,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “And public elementary students are not being served when 66% of schools have annual restrictions on the number of students that can be assessed for special education.” 

Entitled The new basics for education, the People for Education 2018 report also shows that rural schools are far less likely to have full-time special education teachers or specialist teachers for health and physical education and the arts.

“Students across the province are faced with significant inequities and barriers that the current funding formula is failing to address. The ministry of education cannot allow students to be short-changed because of where they live or a failure to get the assessments and special education support that they need.”

The report also demonstrates the growing divide in school fundraising between low and high income school communities, given that the top 10 per cent of fundraising elementary schools raised 37 times the amount raised by the bottom 10 per cent in 2017-2018.

“How can we have an equitable system for all students when fundraising in higher income communities is used to pay for things like school trips, new technology and outdoor learning spaces? All students and schools should have access to these education supports but they can’t because of a flawed funding formula,” added Hammond.

ETFO’s Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents over 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.

For more information, contact ETFO Media Relations:
Valerie Dugale, 1-888-838-3836 x2331, cell 416-948-0195, vdugale@etfo.org
@ETFOMedia