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Elementary educators call for investments, not cuts, in response to consultations

December 13, 2018

From curriculum to testing, job and life skills, technology use in classrooms and sexual health and human development, elementary educators have provided key recommendations to the provincial government to enhance Ontario’s internationally regarded public education system.

“In the priority areas that the government set out for public consultation, it’s evident that investments in public education and curriculum adjustments are needed to better prepare all students for success,” said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). The Federation’s submission, released today and available at, outlines ways to build better schools and learning environments:

  • Schools need additional resources for computers and other classroom supports to enrich teaching of science, technology, engineering and math subjects and coding;
  • Curriculum adjustments, classroom and professional learning resources and the elimination of standardized testing are needed to advance mathematics, financial literacy, life skills and STEM instruction; and
  • The government should consult with and support educators to deliver a modern Health and Physical Education Curriculum based on the 2015 model.

In a meeting with Minister of Education Lisa Thompson last week, ETFO also emphasized that the public elementary system requires investment when it comes to supports for students with special needs and mental health issues, specialist teachers and classroom resources.

“The Minister has not yet been clear on whether the government’s goal of finding four cents on the dollar in savings across public services would be fully applied to education, which would amount to $1 billion in cuts for our schools,” added Hammond. “Education stakeholders and members of the public have sent a clear message that investment, not cuts, is the path forward to enhance Ontario’s public education system and improve the performance of all students.”

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

For more information, contact ETFO Media Relations:
Valerie Dugale, 1-888-838-3836 x2331, cell: 416-948-0195,