The rabble.ca Activist Toolkit has been reaching out to teachers federations across Canada for ways to fight back against the assault on public education by Conservative governments across the country. Here is what we got from the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Associations’ president, Liz Stuart.
Despite Minister Lecce’s repeated attempts to mislead Ontarians, the truth is the Ford government is proceeding with its plan to increase class sizes, including funding secondary classes for an average student-to-teacher ratio of 28:1 across the province. This is the basis on which school boards have been funded and have planned for this year. In this first week back we have already heard stories of courses needed for graduation being cut, class sizes ballooning, dramatic increases in the number of split grade classes (including some instances of three grade levels being combined in a single course), and overall confusion regarding student timetables. And this is only the first year of the plan – much more will be cut in the years ahead, with even more negative consequences for student learning.
Our #KnowMore campaign uses data, research, and testimonials to educate the public and MPPs about the success of Ontario’s education system, the need for further investments, and the realities of the government’s cuts. As the school year begins, we will be highlighting the lost jobs for teachers and education workers, the increase in class sizes, and the loss of courses, programs, and supports for students. We will be calling on teachers, education workers, parents, and students to share their stories, to make sure the Ford government understands the real consequences of their decisions.
We invite Ontarians to visit knowmore.ca, where they can learn more about what is happening in education, and send a message to their MPP or the Minister of Education.
Liz Stuart, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association