Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Ford government’s proposed budget fails students, say Catholic teachers

Doug Ford ignores publicly funded education and student well-being in budget announcement.


TORONTO - The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has issued the following statement from President Barb Dobrowolski in response to the announcement of the 2022 provincial budget:

“The Ford government has failed students, educators, families, and all Ontarians yet again with an inadequate and underfunded budget that prioritizes pavement and profits over publicly funded education, with barely a mention of schools or supports for students.

Ontario students need a real plan for a robust learning recovery. Instead, Premier Doug Ford chose hollow electioneering over our students’ well-being and academic success – again. Ontario students suffered the longest in-class learning disruption in North America as a result of this government’s repeated refusals to address COVID-19 in our schools and communities. Doug Ford should be doing everything in his power to make right his government’s shameful failures.

This budget continues the Ford government’s plan to cut $12.3 billion from publicly funded education over the next decade, fails to address inflation and student enrolment projections, and attempts to deceive Ontarians by shuffling numbers and calling it an education investment.

Catholic teachers call on the Ford government to end the reckless cuts and immediately invest what is needed to:

  • support a robust, multi-year learning recovery plan, including committing to smaller class sizes, so all students get the focused, individual attention from teachers they deserve;
  • expand school-based mental health resources, supports, and services, to achieve equitable outcomes and meet the diverse needs of students and educators, including those needed for successful destreaming;
  • immediately end the failed hybrid model, and provide the funding necessary for in-person and online-only schools;
  • address the $17 billion repair backlog and outstanding safety concerns in schools, such as crumbling infrastructure and poor ventilation; and
  • implement the other critical measures called for by Catholic teachers.

The Ford government’s heartless cuts to publicly funded education threaten student success and will widen inequalities, potentially leaving behind a generation of our most vulnerable, unless reversed immediately.

Instead of ignoring students’ needs, and using misleading figures to hide its austerity agenda, the Ford government should have used this opportunity to collaborate with educators, reflect on its failures, and make the investments needed to help Ontario students recover from the previous chaotic and disruptive school years and build upon the success of Ontario’s publicly funded education system.

Students, educators, families, and all Ontarians deserve better.”