Elementary Teachers Applaud Government Focus on Education

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - The Ontario budget released today confirms that
the McGuinty government continues to pursue its commitment to enhance public
education, says the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
    "We applaud the government's ongoing efforts to rebuild our education
system by focusing on smaller primary class sizes, improved literacy and
numeracy, more resources for schools, and expanded English-as-a-Second
Language support," said ETFO first vice-president David Clegg.
    Clegg cautioned there must be clear provisions in place to ensure that
the funding school boards receive for smaller primary classes is fully
directed to that objective. "The government must also monitor class sizes of
higher elementary grades to ensure they do not increase as the result of the
primary class size policy," he said.
    Clegg stressed that while elementary teachers appreciate the government's
continued focus on public education, more work is needed to close the gap in
funding between elementary and secondary students. "We believe the government
will not achieve its goals of improved academic performance and a reduced high
school drop out rate if it fails to address the continued underfunding of
elementary education."
    Clegg pointed out that the goal of higher student achievement also
requires attention to the issue of child poverty in Ontario.
    "We are pleased to see that the Budget has recognized the impact of
poverty on educational success by ending the clawback of the National Child
Benefit Supplement, creating a new Ontario Child Benefit, and establishing a
process to raise the hourly minimum wage to $10.25 from $8 over the next three

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents more than
70,000 public elementary school teachers and education workers across Ontario
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (office), (416) 948-0195 (cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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