Teachers Welcome Budget Focus on Child Poverty

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Ontario Teachers' Federation President Hilda
Watkins today responded to the Ontario Budget saying, "Teachers in Ontario
welcome Minister Sorbara's focus in the budget on working to eliminate child
poverty. Every day teachers greet students who are not ready to learn because
of their family situation. Research repeatedly confirms that socio-economic
status has an impact on learning opportunities and student success."
    "The changes to the clawback of the National Child Tax Benefit will have
a major impact on the lives of thousands of children in Ontario," she said.
"Teachers have been pleased to see this government's increased commitment to
publicly funded education since its election in 2003. Today's budget
recognizes responsibilities beyond the school playground for improving student
    Watkins continued, "While we also welcome the government's commitment to
the increase in the Ontario minimum wage, we would have liked to see it happen
faster to benefit Ontario's children."
    "OTF, as a supporter of the Honourable James K. Bartleman's summer
literacy camps for First Nations students, is also happy to see additional
funding for those students," Watkins added.
    "All of Ontario benefits from improvements to the lives of children. We
know that for every dollar our society commits to children in the first years
of their lives we save $7 in social services and justice costs as children
age. This budget is a start in the right direction," Watkins concluded.

    The Ontario Teachers' Federation is the advocate for the teaching
profession in Ontario and for its 155,000 teachers. OTF members are full-time,
part-time and occasional teachers in all the publicly funded schools in the
province - elementary, secondary, public, Catholic and francophone.

For further information:

For further information: Kathleen Devlin, Director, Policy and Public
Affairs, (416) 966-3424

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Ontario Teachers' Federation

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