By cancelling funding for the 2018-19 Parents Reaching Out Grants, the Ford government has denied thousands of parents in every Ontario school board the opportunity to directly engage and participate in their children’s education. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) stands with parents and calls for the immediate reinstatement of the grants in this budget year.
On October 17 the Minister of Education announced the government will ‘pause’ the grants this year. In ETFO’s view, this so-called ‘pause’ is a cut that severs an opportunity for thousands of parents to participate in math and literacy nights, parenting workshops, mental health workshops and other initiatives involving their children’s education.
Since 2006, these grants supported school councils to identify barriers of engagement and fund solutions to involve more parents in support of student achievement, human rights and equity, and student well-being. In 2017-18, over 2,300 small grants were offered to schools in every part of the province for parent workshops at a cost of only $2.4 million. A small price to pay for parents’ involvement.
“It is unconscionable that a government which purports to prioritize parents would destroy one of the key ways that so many connect with their children’s schools. These programs were really impactful and provided opportunities for parent councils to build community in schools in a cost-effective manner,” said Sam Hammond, ETFO President.
The inclusion of parents in Ontario’s internationally acclaimed education system helps to make public education strong.
Join ETFO to express your views on the importance of public education and participate in the Ontario government consultation, visit BuildingBetterSchools.ca/consultation or contact your MPP today.