June 17, 2019
Toronto, ON – The People for Education's 2019 Annual Report issued today clearly demonstrates a continued erosion of supports for public education, according to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
"The facts in this report are further evidence that the Conservative government is taking the wrong approach to education. It's clear that Ontario's public education system is in need of investment, not cuts, in order to provide the education our future generations need to succeed," said ETFO President Sam Hammond.
When it comes to Special Education, 60 per cent of elementary schools report a restriction on the number of students who can be assessed each year, and 58% of schools in northern Ontario have no access to a psychologist.
"Funding for front-line supports for students with special needs and other behavioural issues has never been adequate to meet their growing numbers in the system and the gap is getting worse. That gap is fuelling more violent incidents in classrooms."
Only 33 per cent of schools with grades 7-8 classes have guidance counsellors and only 54 per cent of elementary schools have a teacher-librarian, down from 80 per cent in 1998. "In so many schools, the supports are lacking to assist students to make sound choices and reap the academic benefits that fully-funded schools can provide," said Hammond.
When it comes to technology in classrooms, 33 per cent of elementary schools encourage students to bring their own devices for learning but less than half of students participate, according to the report. Such policies tend not to be successful in lower income neighbourhoods.
"Because of underfunding, we're seeing greater disparities between schools. Schools in wealthier areas can fundraise to pay for technology and other resources for classrooms, putting schools in poorer communities at a disadvantage. This isn't at all fair or equitable for students."
"The People For Education report is a wake-up call to the Ford government to invest in public education and the future of Ontario children. Students shouldn't pay for this government's cuts," added Hammond.
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at www.BuildingBetterSchools.ca.
For more information, contact ETFO Media Relations:Valerie Dugale, 1-888-838-3836 x2331, cell: 416-948-0195, firstname.lastname@example.org #Cutshurtkids