Send Doug Ford a message that as parents, educators, and students, we will not accept an increase to already unmanageable class sizes.
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Dear Premier Ford,
CC: Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Your MPP
As a frontline education worker, I am deeply concerned about the government’s proposal to increase class sizes for Ontario’s youngest students. Recent media reports that the government is considering changing, or even outright cancelling, Ontario’s highly successful, full-day, early-learning program for kindergarten students are equally disturbing.
Fewer adults and more students in the classroom means crowded, unmanageable classes, fewer teachers and education assistants to help children with special needs, less inclusion for children with exceptionalities, and less individual help for students.
The government’s failure to demonstrate a full appreciation of the value to all Ontarians of quality, public education could not be more apparent. Since taking office, your government has cut more than $100 million dollars from Ontario’s schools, cancelled curriculum revisions to fulfill the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and rolled back the sex education curriculum.
Ontario schools are already funded by an outdated, inadequate formula. There is a $15 billon repair backlog for schools, boards spend more money on special education than they receive in government funding, and students face long wait lists for support from educational assistants, speech language pathologists, and other professionals. Instead of addressing these issues, there are now confusing statements out of Queen’s Park indicating possible further cuts to full-day, early learning for our youngest, kindergarten students.
The apparent disconnect between your government and what happens on the ground, particularly around proper funding for education, is a real barrier to better outcomes for student achievement. And we invite you to change that.
In fact, I’d like to invite you and all MPPs to come in person and see what actually goes on in classrooms and in our schools. You will meet an entire network of people—educational assistants, custodians, school secretaries, early childhood educators, library workers, and a whole host of others—whose jobs support children’s education and development. We will all tell you that bigger class sizes are simply not feasible.
We urge you not to remove the cap on class sizes and to properly fund high-quality, public education for Ontario students.