ETFO responds to Ontario government’s fall economic statement
November 02, 2023
TORONTO, ON – Despite expected growing surpluses over the next few years, the Ford government continues to underfund public education in Ontario. The fall economic statement delivered today ignores the needs of students and educators, and is another missed opportunity to undo damaging cuts to public education.
“In its 2023 budget, the Ford government had the opportunity to strengthen public education in Ontario, but chose, instead, to make cuts to services that impact student success and well-being,” says Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Karen Brown. “And now, with its fall economic statement, we’re seeing the same refusal to prioritize public education. They must reverse the cuts and deliver the funding Ontario students deserve.”
Earlier this year, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario reported that the Ontario government is projected to see growing surpluses for the next six years. Since taking office in 2018, the Ford government has cut funding for public education by $1,200 per student when accounting for inflation, while at the same time, continuing to hold billions of dollars in unspent contingency funds.
Notes Brown, “Ontario’s current fiscal position provides a unique opportunity to adequately fund public services and reinstate funding that has been cut from public education over the past five years. Unfortunately, the government is continuing to withhold billions of dollars in contingency funds, instead of providing much-needed funding to Ontario’s public schools.”
The Ford government must make the necessary investments to provide educators, students, families, and communities with the supports they need. They have an opportunity to change their approach right now in central bargaining discussions with ETFO. We urge Ontarians to contact their members of provincial parliament to say enough is enough. Ford’s cuts to public education must be stopped. “Ontario students, education workers, and families deserve a fully funded, high-quality, equitable, and inclusive public education system,” adds Brown.
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.