TORONTO, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Progressive Conservative leader Tim
Hudak's promise to cut 100,000 public sector jobs, including almost
9,000 teachers and 10,000 education support workers, will harm students
and reverse many of the gains made in Ontario's education system in the
past decade, says James Ryan, President of the Ontario English Catholic
Teachers' Association (OECTA). "As a teacher, I am particularly alarmed
at the consequences of removing many thousands of teachers and
education workers from our classrooms," he says. "Parents are even now
clamouring for more support for their children in Special Education.
Parents and concerned citizens have been asking the government for more
arts education, for beefed up math instruction, for programs that
address bullying, mental health issues and much more. How can Ontario
respond to these needs with fewer teachers and education workers in our
Ryan says putting three more students in a class does not sound like
much to someone who has never visited the classroom of today, but that
increase can make a significant difference in the educational progress
and wellbeing of the individual child. "Our classrooms reflect our
society. They are highly integrated, with students of a broad spectrum
of abilities — physical, intellectual, emotional — learning together.
Achieving the right balance of teaching and support for each student is
a daily challenge. Two or three more students in the mix without
sufficient support can prove detrimental to the whole classroom. And
parents will be unhappy when their child is the one suffering the
consequences," says Ryan.
International organizations such as the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) recognize Ontario's education system
as one of the best in the world, largely because of the professionals
dedicated to helping students achieve their very best. The province
cannot eliminate almost 19,000 of these teachers and education workers
without harming our children.
OECTA represents the 45,000 professional women and men who teach all
grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association
For further information:
Cheryl Fullerton, Government Relations Department 416-925-2493 ext 306, firstname.lastname@example.org