Federal role in public education grows in Canada’s latest economic update
The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE) is pleased to see the federal government stepping up again to support teachers and all education workers and safer schools through the Economic Fiscal Update announced yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, including:
- $110 million earmarked to the safe return to school fund plus an additional $70 million dedicated to Infrastructure – all for school ventilation;
- $1.7 billion to Health Canada for rapid tests to be provided to schools and workplaces ; and,
- Expansion of definition of eligible teaching supplies to include tech as well as items that are not necessarily used in classrooms.
“With the pandemic far from over, we at the CTF/FCE welcome the federal government’s investment to help enhance protections for students and school staff from the threat of COVID-19,” said CTF/FCE President Sam Hammond. “We want to keep classrooms open without students’ learning opportunities or teacher mental health suffering any further.”
The recommitment of funding for improved ventilation in schools and the procurement of rapid testing and vaccine doses will help make schools safer for everyone. We’ve seen the roll-out of vaccines for those aged 5 and up and the pressure to tackle new waves with emergent strains of COVID-19 is building.
Following through on a promise to increase the teacher tax deduction for out-of-pocket purchases for teaching and learning resources is a step in the right direction but should remind Canadians that provinces and territories must increase funding so that teachers and all education workers needn’t cover the costs for necessary supplies.
The federal government’s increasing role in publicly funded public education and desire to work more closely with teachers and all education workers is evident. When it comes to challenges that face all teachers, education workers, students, and their families there needs to be a direct channel and avenue for dialogue with Ottawa. That is why the CTF/FCE is continuing to call on the federal government to establish a National Advisory Table on Public Education with the teaching profession and relevant stakeholders.
“The pandemic showed Canadians how central publicly funded public education is to millions of families, their communities, and the economy. This Economic Fiscal Update opens the conversation to the need of an ongoing federal role in public education,” said Hammond.
From poverty to mental health, racism and Truth and Reconciliation, addressing Canada’s biggest issues begins in the classroom, which is why public education needs to be a national conversation.
The Canadian Teachers’ Federation
Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is the national voice for the teaching profession. As the national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations, the CTF/FCE represents over 365,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada.
Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE)