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Ford government’s failure to keep pace with inflation is a deliberate cut to public education

April 26, 2024

The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) responding to the government’s announcement on education funding for 2024-2025:

“While the Ford government has repeatedly claimed that they are committed to student success and investing in education, the numbers tell a different story. Once again, the government’s spending plans for education fail to meet the needs of Ontario’s students and educators. When provincial funding fails to keep pace with both enrolment growth and inflation, let's call it what it truly is: a deliberate funding cut.

ETFO has long advocated for a full independent review of the funding formula. Instead of heeding those calls, the Ford government has decided to make arbitrary changes to the way education funding is allocated, behind closed doors, and without any meaningful consultation with key education stakeholders.

As frontline educators, ETFO members have been struggling with the detrimental impacts of underfunding daily; the ramifications are felt deeply by those in classrooms. Increasing violence in schools, a crisis in teacher retention and recruitment, crumbling infrastructure, insufficient resources, and cuts to essential special education supports are just a few of the challenges educators contend with.

Despite Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s boastful claims of ‘historic’ investments in public education, school boards find themselves yet again grappling with hollow statements. Instead of the vital funds required to adequately support students, they are left having to decide which essential student supports they will stop providing.

On April 10, the Finance Accountability Office released a report comparing revenue and program spending in Ontario to other provinces. From this independent analysis of data, it is clear the province has a revenue problem. Ontario raises less revenue per-capita and spends less on public services per-capita than any other province. Yet, the Ford government continues to focus on providing corporate tax cuts instead of making much-needed investments in education, health care, and other public services on which Ontarians rely.

ETFO urges Ontarians to contact their member of provincial parliament to stop Ford’s ongoing cuts to public education.”

ETFO represents approximately 83,000 members, including public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, designated early childhood educators, education support personnel, and professional support personnel. Visit