QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Jessica Bell (University—Rosedale) and NDP Education critic, Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West-Nepean) held a press conference Monday calling on the Ford Conservatives to address the looming staff and funding crisis facing the province’s school boards.
The MPPs were joined by Toronto District School Board (TDSB) trustee, Deborah Williams and president of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto, Helen Victoros.
The TDSB is projecting a $61-million shortfall and a loss of 522 staff positions in the coming school year. School boards across Ontario are expected to have to grapple with similar staffing shortages and funding deficits.
“The Ford Conservatives have put the TDSB in a very tough financial predicament, and it’s our kids who will pay the price if Doug Ford continues down his harmful path of budget and staff cuts,” said Bell.
“After three challenging years, Ontario’s kids deserve more caring staff in the classroom helping them learn, not more cuts," said Pasma. "Ford should be investing in schools, not forcing school boards to cut the teachers, educational assistants, child and youth workers, and safety monitors our kids depend on."
The independent Financial Accountability Office (FAO) recently revealed that the Ford government withheld $844 million earmarked for education at a time when school boards are facing significant funding deficits.