NDP gets historic endorsement from elementary teachers’ union

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In a historic shift that spells trouble for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has thrown their support behind Andrea Horwath and the NDP.

At a meeting with the EFTO leadership, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath welcomed a historic endorsement from the union which represents over 81,000 teachers and education professionals across Ontario.

In a written statement Horwath said, “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.

“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.

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“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,”

She pointed out that while Wynne and the Liberals failed to fix the broken funding formula and shut down more than 200 schools, Doug Ford promised to make more than $6 billion in cuts and close more schools.

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

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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. – CINEWS

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