Kathleen Wynne's Peek-a-Boo Press Conference On New Funding for Students



    "You May Run - But You Can't Hide"

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - "Scheduling a press conference to release "new
monies" on the same day as the widely publicized federal government's budget
is a surprisingly awkward political move," said John Weatherup, President of
CUPE Local 4400, Toronto Education Workers.
    "Perhaps the Minister of Education was trying to hide the fact that she
has once more abandoned urban school boards, like the Toronto District School
Board, who still do not have enough funding to keep schools clean, repaired,
adequately staffed and serving the community," opined Mr. Weatherup.
    Noting that the new monies will not come close to repairing the damage
done by the Tories, Weatherup pointed out that the "Ten Improvements to the
Funding Formula Since 2003" still does not come close to delivering on the
promises.
    "Right off the bat I came up with "THIRTEEN Areas that are Still a
Concern"," he said. "They include:

    
    -   Schools slated to close because of the bizarre Tory method of
        counting class room space;
    -   Repairs & maintenance orders - urgently needed - are still seriously
        backlogged;
    -   Full cost of utilities & services still not covered;
    -   Full cost of staffing programs & services still woefully inadequate;
    -   ESL/Adult ESL still not receiving proper funding and mandated use;
    -   Special Education & Autism still not funded and serviced adequately;
    -   Capping all primary classes at 20 put off for another year (note:
        they could have used Educational Assistants to lower the adult -
        student ratios which would not have required new classrooms to be
        opened);
    -   Special Funding for Urban Boards taken away last year and not
        replaced;
    -   Environmental Studies are important for P.R. but not when it comes to
        funding;
    -   Safety in the schools compromised by removing lots of adults during
        the day (including caretakers) who cannot be replaced by locked doors
        and cameras;
    -   Supervision of children when teachers have planning still has not
        been addressed in all of the boards;
    -   Seniors' Programs, General Interest Programs, Adult Education and
        Parenting Centres still not adequately funded, including money for
        accommodation; and
    -   Community Use of Schools providing funding so that the community can
        access public space for which they have already paid."
    

    "I don't want to get into a 'she said/he said' argument," said John
Weatherup. "If anyone wants to know if things are better now than 10 years
ago, ask a parent whose child is in Special Education or whose child is
identified as "at risk". See the schools and talk to long-time staff."
    "If the Liberals are going to run their October Election on Education,
they can't hide from the reality," he concluded.





For further information:

For further information: John Weatherup, President, Local 4400, Cell -
(416) 902-9266

Organization Profile

Canadian Union of Public Employees - Local 4400

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