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ETFO says U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has lots to learn from Ontario visit

October 3, 2017

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) questions the purpose of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ visit to Ontario.

“Given her record of undermining her country’s public school system, I am struggling to understand why she is coming to Ontario,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “I can only hope that this controversial visit will provide a teachable moment for her to understand why publicly funded public education works better for students than charter or private schools.”

DeVos, who favors public funding of private and charter schools, is scheduled to visit Toronto this Thursday and Friday to examine best practices in Ontario’s education system.

“DeVos’ first proposal was to cut $9 billion from the American public education system. Here in Ontario she’ll have an opportunity to see how the universality of publicly funded public education is meeting the learning needs of all students, not just the most privileged,” said Hammond.

“Education unions like ETFO are working with the government to build a more inclusive and equitable education system and address systemic discrimination against racialized students.

“Given DeVos’ attacks on American education unions, she definitely needs to understand the important role that education unions play here in Ontario,” added Hammond.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at