TORONTO, Ont. – Election victories in Toronto’s public school trustee elections by eleven progressive candidates who ran on platforms calling for a fix to the provincial funding formula and adequate funding for schools, spell a clear lesson for the McGuinty government.
“By voting for these trustees, parents in Toronto have sent a strong message to the Ontario Liberals that the school funding formula needs to be fixed now,” says Sid Ryan, Ontario President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). “Parents want a better, more stable education system. They realize that you can’t achieve that with a funding formula that fuels an endless cycle of program and staff cuts and school board trustees who are prepared to continue to make these cuts.”
“The wins spell a clear lesson for the McGuinty Liberals, that they have to make the right investments in education and fix the provincial funding formula well before the 2007 Ontario election,” added Ryan.
The eleven elected trustees were endorsed by parents, unions (including CUPE) and community groups as part of the Campaign for Public Education (CPE). They received endorsements because they committed to stand up to the provincial government to restore adequate funding for schools, a key focus for CPE for the last decade.
A faulty funding formula introduced by the Harris government in the 1990s has left school boards cash-strapped and having to make program and staff cuts or face the wrath of the provincial government and possible take-over by an appointed supervisor.
“It is our hope that these new trustees will fight for fair, stable funding from the provincial government so that school boards can return to the task of creating a dynamic, responsive, top-quality public education system. And that the Liberals will do the right thing and fix education funding,” added Ryan.
On Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 7:00 p.m., Ryan will make a deputation to the newly- elected Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). The TCDSB has yet to approve a budget that could allow more than $34.6 million in program and staff cuts.
CUPE represents 50,000 school board secretaries, custodians, education assistants and trades and tech workers province-wide, including more than 3,100 staff at TCDSB.
For more information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President, 416-209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-578-8774