Throne Speech Recognizes Education's Importance Say Teachers

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - Elementary teachers are pleased to see that
today's Speech from the Throne reaffirms the Ontario government's commitment
to make investments in publicly funded education an ongoing priority.
    "The commitment to improve the funding formula by investing an additional
$3.1 billion annually by 2011, moving forward on the full-day kindergarten
program, and expanding the Pathways to Education program are important and
welcome initiatives that will improve learning outcomes for Ontario students,"
said Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President David Clegg.
    "We are also pleased to see that the government recognizes the impact of
child poverty on educational success by confirming its commitment to fully
implement the new Ontario Child Benefit, increase child care spaces, and raise
the minimum wage to $10.25 over the next three years."
    Clegg noted that Throne Speeches are notably short on detail and that
ETFO looks forward to seeing more specifics of education initiatives over the
coming months.
    While elementary teachers welcome the continued focus on public
education, more specific attention needs to be addressed to closing the gap in
funding between elementary and secondary students.
    "We believe that the government will not achieve its goal of improved
academic performance and a reduced high school drop out rate if it fails to
address the continued underfunding of elementary education," Clegg said.

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

For further information:

For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); 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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