TORONTO – POLITICS – The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has criticized the 2023 Ontario Budget in a statement by President Barb Dobrowolski, saying that it fails to keep up with inflation and risks degrading the quality of publicly funded education. Dobrowolski emphasized that Catholic teachers need a government that respects their profession and invests in the necessary resources for students to excel.
The budget has been criticized for using federal funding for child care to create the illusion of investment, while core funding remains below inflation. The Ford government plans to underfund core education spending by $6 billion over the next five years, according to the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO). This approach suggests that the government is either indifferent to students’ needs or actively working to undermine publicly funded education.
To address pandemic-related learning loss, growing teacher shortages, and the mental health and well-being needs of students and educators, Catholic teachers have called for an investment plan that enhances mental health services, lowers class sizes, stops the expansion of online learning, and commits to meaningful collaboration with frontline educators.
Despite the criticisms, Catholic teachers remain hopeful that the government will prioritize student development and work collaboratively with educators to ensure that the publicly funded education system remains world-class and provides a conducive learning environment for every student. OECTA represents Catholic teachers in Ontario.