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Ontario budget does not repair damage done to education over last four years

TORONTO, ON – Ontario’s world-class public education system is worth protecting. To do that, Ontarians must elect a provincial government that is willing to make the necessary investments to support it. Unfortunately, the Ford government demonstrated, again today through its budget, that they are not genuinely committed to strengthening public education in Ontario.

“Ford’s education plan for 2022-2023 falls far short of what Ontario students, educators and other education workers deserve,” notes Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Karen Brown. “Their legacy of funding cuts and chaos in the education sector cannot be dismissed nor forgotten as we head into a critical provincial election. Ontarians cannot afford another four years of Ford.”

Instead of investing in public education and other public services Ontario families need to recover from this devastating pandemic, the Ford government is using this budget to try to buy votes from Ontarians. Educators, students, and families have not forgotten the devastating cuts to public education that this government has made since the beginning of their mandate, nor their failure to keep students and educators safe during the pandemic.

We must fight for a just recovery that centres public education and public services. ETFO encourages Ontarians to consider each parties’ education platforms and their positions on the following before they vote:

  • lowering class sizes to improve student learning, supports for students, and safety;
  • caps for Kindergarten classes and grades 4 to 8;
  • protecting the highly successful Kindergarten staffing model that includes a teacher and designated early childhood educator;
  • ending hybrid learning;
  • delivering additional supports for students with special needs; and
  • an independent review of the funding formula.

Adds Brown, “There is so much more to do to continue to advance equity, democracy, and social justice for all. And we simply cannot do this work well with a majority Progressive Conservative government in Ontario. During their term, they’ve excelled at performative allyship and making announcements that were followed by inaction. They’ve repeated failed Ontarians and kept their business-friendly agenda hidden from us. We will not be persuaded by their last-ditch efforts and empty promises to secure the election. Fool us once.”

We can transform public education into a system that supports, uplifts, and celebrates every student. Our collective efforts can and will make a difference in the Ontario election.

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