Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

January 30, 2007 15:34 ET

Underfunding Results in Missed Opportunities for Elementary Students

Flawed funding formula denies students a high quality, well-rounded education

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 30, 2007) - A flawed funding formula does a "tremendous disservice" to Ontario's elementary students, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) charged today.

ETFO First Vice-President David Clegg stressed that insufficient funding of Ontario's elementary schools results in missed opportunities for elementary students, denying them the high quality, well-rounded education they need to be successful lifelong learners. Clegg made his comments in a pre-Budget submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in Toronto.

Given that success in the later years of a student's schooling is based on a solid foundation in the beginning years, the underfunding of elementary schools does a great disservice to elementary students, said Clegg.

"Currently, school boards receive over $700 more for each secondary student than for each elementary student.
Ensuring a more equitable allocation of funding for elementary education would ensure that teachers are able to provide the instruction needed to ensure all students achieve at a higher level," he concluded.

Clegg pointed out that in spite of the government's current focus on literacy, few elementary schools are staffed with a full-time teacher-librarian whose role is to help students with literacy and research skills. Citing yet another example, Clegg noted that one guidance teacher is only provided for 5,000 elementary students, the equivalent of one guidance teacher for every 14 elementary schools of 350 students.

To address these shortcomings, Clegg recommended that the school foundation grant be modified to fund one full-time teacher librarian for each elementary school and a minimum of one guidance teacher for each elementary school.

Clegg acknowledged that the government has done much work to rebuild the publicly funded education system. However, "we believe the government will not achieve its goals of improving students' level of academic achievement and reducing the high school drop out rate if it fails to address the continued underfunding of elementary education."

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: Larry Skory: 416-962-3836 (office); 416-948-0195 (cell); www.etfo.ca/ IN: EDUCATION, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
    Primary Phone: 416-962-3836 ext. 2331
    Secondary Phone: 416-948-0195
    Toll-Free: 888-838-3836
    E-mail: lskory@etfo.org