When it comes to student outcomes, the OECD, the Economist, and McKinsey recognize Ontario and Canada as having one of the top-tier systems globally, consistently ranking in the top ten for math, reading and science. They credit Ontario’s success to continually improving the classroom experience for students and ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to succeed.
Doug Ford’s cuts to education threaten to undo that sustained success.
Under his plan, the average high school class size in Ontario will rise by 27%, students will be required to take mandatory online classes in order to graduate and, according to the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario, there will be 10,000 fewer frontline educators over the next few years. With student enrollment increasing in our schools combined with more students with more needs, how does having fewer frontline educators translate to a better classroom experience?
The short answer is: It doesn’t.
When we cut critical frontline staff and resources from our schools and increase the average class size, we compromise our students' ability to learn. Fewer educators and larger classroom sizes means less time available to help each individual student, and less time to teach the critical skills our students need to succeed. Fewer education workers, like early childhood educators, psychologists and counsellors, means fewer supports for students that need the most help. And fewer frontline staff means fewer opportunities for our students — with limited resources to teach them, over 60,000 fewer courses will be available to our students. Critical courses like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) classes and special education courses that support our most vulnerable students will disappear.
Ford’s cuts will affect virtually every student — from the 16-year-old dreaming of a career in robotics, to the student who needs extra supports to succeed, to the average student whose needs can’t be addressed because more students are crammed into the classroom.
If our government was serious about safeguarding the future of our province, they wouldn’t be trying to balance the budget on the backs of Ontario’s students.
If you think Doug Ford’s education cuts will hurt our students and our province, email your MPP today! Let them know that they do not have to support Doug Ford’s plan to weaken our world-class education system.