Keep the Focus on the Classroom

Anticipating Drummond's Report: Protecting Programs and Resources for the Classroom

TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) strongly recommends the government protect classroom funding.

"We know that education, like other areas of government funding, needs to be examined to ensure that the dollars are being used responsibly," says Kevin O'Dwyer, OECTA President. "We encourage the government to safeguard the learning environment of Ontario's children."

The Association, in its presentation to the Commission on Broader Public Sector Reform and in their pre-budget submission to the Ontario government, encouraged the government to examine education dollars spent on initiatives not directly tied to the classroom, such as in the areas of administration and bureaucracy. "Expenditures tied directly to the delivery of programming for students are most cost-effective," O'Dwyer adds.

Drummond has publicly suggested a reduction in primary class sizes as a cost-saving measure. Lowering class sizes are a key contributing factor to the success of students in our schools.

"Students in smaller classes receive more attention and have greater success in the early grades," said Michael Fullan, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and special advisor to Premier Dalton McGuinty. "Smaller class size combined with improved teaching of literacy and math makes it much more likely that students will excel in high school, graduate and reach their full potential." Ministry of Education press release, January 9, 2008

Furthermore, Drummond has de-valued the sound pedagogy of the full-day Kindergarten program by calling for its elimination.

"Those places that out-educate us, will out-compete us…this is what this is all about… it's about educating our children today, so that we can be the strongest competitors on this continent tomorrow." Premier McGuinty, on full-day Kindergarten, January 12, 2010, Chatham-Kent Daily Post

"We have seen the impact of fiscal restraint implemented with total disregard for what matters most in education: the classroom," says O'Dwyer. "The government has an opportunity in its upcoming budget to take a measured and reasonable approach that reaffirms support for our students and our the future of this province."

Learn more about OECTA on our website or visit us on Facebook or on Twitter.

OECTA represents the 43,000 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:

Michelle Despault
Director of Communication, OECTA
416-925-2493 xtn 509
416-818-7533 (cell)

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

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