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Ontario budget means more cuts to public education

March 23, 2023

TORONTO, ON – Below is a statement from Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) following today’s provincial budget announcement:


“The provincial government had the opportunity to strengthen public education in Ontario through this year’s budget, but instead they are forcing school boards to make cuts to services, which means cuts to student supports. This budget ignores rising costs due to inflation and ongoing pandemic-related pressures on public schools. 


Instead of supporting workers and the public services Ontarians rely on, the Ford government has chosen to continue to provide billions of dollars in tax giveaways to corporations, and end workers’ access to three paid sick days. 


There seems to be a deliberate dismissal of public education as a sector that needs investment and attention. The government has once again ignored recommendations from ETFO and other education stakeholders. Our budget recommendations would have helped undo the damage caused by years of funding cuts. 


We cannot Build a Strong Ontario—a prosperous Ontario—without investing in our world-class public education system; this is the key to Ontario’s social and economic recovery. 


The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for people across the province and disproportionately impacted individuals and families from marginalized communities, including Black, Indigenous, racialized, disabled, and low-income communities. As we emerge from the pandemic, these communities are also bearing the brunt of inflation. To alleviate these inequitable burdens, avert a recession, and build a more just and equitable province, the Ford government must invest in public services, including public education.


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 four years. Unfortunately, the government chose to withhold billions of dollars in contingency.


Ontario students, education workers and families deserve a fully funded, high-quality, equitable and inclusive public education system.”


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