Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario flag in Sarnia. 10 February 2020. (Blackburn Media Photo.Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario flag in Sarnia. 10 February 2020. (Blackburn Media Photo.

Board made 'right decision' says local ETFO president

The local president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario is applauding the public school board for its recent decision to keep special education staff despite a funding shortfall.

The Greater Essex County District School Board decided to keep on 20 full-time staff resulting in a $6.4-million deficit for next year.

It's a decision that could lead the Ministry of Education to take over management of the school board.

"We realize it's a difficult decision and it doesn't put them in the greatest light with the Ministry of Education but I think it's time that this provincial government realizes that this funding formula does not meet the needs of students," said Mario Spagnuolo, local ETFO president.

Spagnuolo said he would welcome the ministry taking over management if it meant they took responsibility for potential cuts.

"At what point do we say enough is enough? If that's what they need to do and if that wakes up the community to say the funding formula in education needs to be revamped then so be it. We can't make decisions based on what fear we have of the provincial government. We have to do it on what's best for kids," said Spagnuolo.

During Tuesday's board meeting, Spagnuolo plans to ask trustees to join the union and parents to advocate for a change in the funding formula.

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