May 10th, 2018

Horwath and the NDP earn historic endorsement from ETFO

At a meeting with the leadership of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), NDP Leader Andrea Horwath reiterated her party’s strong commitments to education in Ontario – and was thrilled to welcome a historic endorsement from ETFO, which represents over 81,000 teachers and education professionals across Ontario.

“Parents, teachers and education professionals have been advocating for change for the better in Ontario’s schools for a long time. Together – I know we can make that change happen,” said Horwath.

“We can end EQAO testing. We can repair the funding formula. We can stop the violence in classrooms. We can fix our schools. The $16 billion repair backlog has left our children sweating it out when it’s hot out, and wearing their mittens at their desks in the winter. Too many schools have water fountains kids can’t drink out of and roofs that are leaking. Together, we can build a province where parents know that when they drop their kids off at school, they’re safe, and getting the best education.”

“We don’t have to have a premier that keeps taking things away from kids, and asking teachers and education professionals to do more with less. We can do so much better for students, teachers, education professionals and school communities,” said Horwath.

Along with failing to fix the broken funding formula and leaving schools without the resources they need, the Liberals and Kathleen Wynne have shut down more than 200 schools.

But Doug Ford presents another big leap backwards, promising not only to shut down schools, but to make more than $6 billion in cuts, across the board.

“Cuts to schools mean bigger class sizes, fewer teachers and educators, and less time for each student,” said Horwath. “It means the leaking roofs will become dangerous roofs, and nothing will be done about those schools desperate for air conditioning or better insulation. And it means challenges in schools – like student mental health and violence in classrooms – will only get worse. We can’t let that happen to Ontario’s students.”

ETFO President Sam Hammond announced the endorsement to 98 ETFO local leaders from across the province. He

welcomed Horwath’s commitments, and noted that she’s the only leader willing to raise taxes on individual income amounts earned over $220,000 – a cornerstone of Horwath’s platform – which will support building a better province for everyone.

The education commitments in Horwath’s campaign platform – Change for the Better – include:

  • Eliminating EQAO testing
  • Investing in classrooms – and re-writing the education funding formula
  • Fixing crumbling schools, with a $16-billion investment
  • Putting a moratorium on school closures
  • Curbing growing class sizes, and ending kindergarten-Grade 1 split classrooms
  • Putting a cap on kindergarten class sizes at 26
  • Hiring more teachers, educational assistants, and education professionals
  • Stopping violence in schools
  • Continuing the curriculum review, while updating classroom materials to be inclusive of Indigenous and Black history and culture