OSSTF Toronto calls on all Members and supporters of publicly funded education to TAKE ACTION NOW against Stephen Lecce’s latest education cuts
Last week the Minister of Education announced through a memo to the Boards of Education that the money invested in education during this past year would not be continued into the coming school year, and that Boards should therefore plan accordingly.
The money the government invested into keeping schools open this year amounts to only a portion of what they cut in the two years previous to 2020-21. Nonetheless it is money that should be maintained into the coming school year if for no other reason than to ensure that student needs, as we deal with the fallout of COVID, can be ably met. In addition, recently the government announced a province-wide expectation that destreaming be implemented at every school board as a step toward greater equity for student achievement. While this is deemed a priority by the government, there has been no money set aside to ensure the necessary resources are in place to make this successful for students, nor to guarantee smaller class sizes for Academic Pathways, with our members’ workload in mind, or to ensure no impacts of destreaming on staffing allocations .
In the same memo the Government did say that while Boards should plan for the discontinuation of this year’s Covid-related investments, that the government may indeed provide increased money based on what it perceives the system to require. Further information about this is expected in April, so the time to act to influence the government’s decision-making is now.
We are asking every member to take a moment to send a letter to their MPP, copied to the Minister of Education and the Education Critic. Feel free to use the attached template letter, to modify it, or to write something based on your own concerns and experience.
This will be a public campaign on our website so you can direct your like-minded friends and family to do the same.
The Doug Ford/Stephen Lecce Tories need to know that their attempts to over-work us into complacency and silence have failed. It is time to take action against this government and for us to let the public know that we are still ready to fight to protect our students and our schools.
You will find your MPP’s email address here
Don’t know your MPP’s name or your riding? Use the “Find my MPP” tool found toward the middle of the Government of Ontario Members page
TEMPLATE LETTER (cut and paste)
Dear (Insert Name of your MPP)
On March 1, 2021, Education Minister Lecce sent a memo to Boards (B-Memo 2021:B04) stating that additional one-time funding to Boards this year was provided to allow for
greater hiring as a result of the pandemic. It is clear from the B-Memo that the government intends to discontinue this funding for the 2021-22 school year.
I am writing to you today as a (Parent/Teacher/Psychologist/Social Worker/Parent/Student) to express my deep concern with this plan.
The Minister himself has recognized in the past that it is likely that many students will require at least some additional support in the post-pandemic world in order to close any learning gaps that they may have as a result of the tumultuous year they experienced. In addition, the Minister of Education is expecting all Boards to work toward greater equity of opportunity for student achievement, through the destreaming of grades nine and ten courses, yet without any mention of the additional resources needed for destreamed programs to be successful in helping students to succeed.
My (INSERT students/clients/child(ren)/classmates) and I deserve better from this government than your proposed continuation of an agenda of underfunding our schools.
I implore you to urge the Minister of Education and Premier to stop their education-cuts-based agenda, and instead to invest in the future of our students. This government’s understanding that the need of students must come first has never been greater than it is today.