Ford government misses opportunity to make much-needed investments in public education
August 09, 2022
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is disappointed that the budget reintroduced today does not include any new investments in public education. In addition, by choosing to redirect funding away from publicly funded schools, the Ford government has chosen a path toward privatization over funding that creates lower class sizes and delivers in-school support for students with special education needs.
“By dismissing educators’ input and reintroducing the same education budget they presented in the spring, the Ford government has missed a clear opportunity to provide students and educators with the school-based supports and resources they need to ensure a just post-pandemic recovery,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “This school year won’t be an easy one for educators. They will be relied upon to address pandemic learning gaps without the support they need to do so. Making up for lost time and providing students with more one-on-one support requires more funding at the school and board levels, not less.”
Despite the Ford government’s claims that they are making historic investments in education, the Financial Accountability Office has projected that there will be an education spending shortfall of $12.3 billion over nine years. This is untenable, unsustainable, and unacceptable.
Adds Brown, “Since Premier Ford took office, his government has repeatedly underfunded public education, health care and other social services in this province. They are directly responsible for the current, avoidable crises we face in these sectors. His legacy of funding cuts and chaos in the education sector cannot be dismissed, and so our Federation’s work to demand what students and educators deserve continues.”
ETFO continues to advocate for investments needed to maintain Ontario’s high-quality public education system. We will work with all parties and education partners to maintain the instructional excellence and curriculum initiatives that best prepare students for a bright and equitable future.
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.