Cuts to full-day Kindergarten would be short-sighted, counterproductive - ETFO

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - Any recommendation by the Drummond Commission to cut full-day Kindergarten in Ontario would be short-sighted and counterproductive, according to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

"Full-day kindergarten is an important investment that's helping make Ontario's education system one of the best in the world," said ETFO President Sam Hammond in the wake of rumours that Drummond will recommend the program be cut. "Full-day kindergarten, along with other government initiatives like reducing primary size classes, is providing children with a definite advantage and head-start when it comes to developing literacy, numeracy and social skills."

"We've indicated to the government that there are other savings that would actually contribute to more productive and engaging classrooms," said Hammond. "For example, EQAO testing could be eliminated, changed or moved to random sample testing."

"Along with educators, many economists will tell you that investment in education is central to long-term economic development of the province," added Hammond. "Skilled, well-educated people are critical for Ontario's future prosperity."

ETFO is concerned that the Drummond Commission will single out public sector services to reduce the provincial deficit, which would have a devastating effect on children and some of the province's most vulnerable citizens.

"The Drummond commission needs to review the continuing corporate tax cuts that this year will cost the government $2.6 billion in revenues," said Hammond. "Regaining that revenue, along with economic investment in public infrastructure, are better alternatives to reduce the deficit than weakening our education system and jeopardizing student success."

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information:

Valerie Dugale, 1-888-838-3836 x2331 (office), (416) 948-0195 (cell); vdugale@etfo.org

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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