QUEEN’S PARK — Doug Ford’s deep cuts to students and classrooms, announced Friday, will mean thousands fewer teachers, bigger class sizes, and less help for every student. NDP Education critic Marit Stiles said the Official Opposition will oppose the callous cuts to children and learning.
The Ford Conservatives’ new scheme for children includes raising caps on class sizes starting in Grade 4, forcing high-school students to take at least four of their classes online instead of with a classroom teacher, and slashing $250 million from the education budget, every year. By the end of Doug Ford’s term, he will rip more than $1 billion away from children and their classrooms.
With this scheme, Ford will cut 10,000 or more teacher and educator jobs.
“There will be more kids in every class, and fewer adults in every school,” said Stiles. “Students at all grade levels are already in crowded classrooms. Teachers are stretched thin, and that means students are often not getting the help they need to excel.
“We know that when class sizes will get bigger, student learning and student achievement can suffer. By taking away one-on-one attention, Ford is making the future a little bleaker for a lot of kids.”
The news comes just as the Ford Conservatives’ callous cuts to autism supports will send an influx of children with autism into the classroom full-time starting April 1. The announcement was silent on supports for students with additional needs, like students with autism.
Friday’s announcement also ignored $16-billion worth of repairs being ignored right now, from leaky roofs to broken windows and lead in the drinking fountains.
“Kids in Ontario deserve more opportunities, not fewer,” said Stiles. “We can have a world-class education system in this province, but we need to invest in children and their future, not make cuts on the back of our kids.”