Toronto – On October 10th 2019, parents, students, and education workers will be holding protests at over 700 elementary and secondary schools across Ontario with a Walk-In. This is a parent-driven solidarity action supported by ETFO and CUPE.
Locally a Walk-In for education is being held tomorrow morning, Thursday, October 10th at Vanier Public School in Brockville at 8:45 am.
The rallies are being held to protest funding cuts and to celebrate the successful collaboration between CUPE and communities to protect public education. With a 3% cut in per-student funding across all Ontario school boards, 10 000 teaching positions lost over 4 years, and cuts to vital supports and special needs services, our kids are suffering.
“The province’s already underfunded public school system is under attack. We’re seeing larger classes, not enough support for students with special needs, cuts to custodial staff, classroom closures and unsafe building conditions” says Rachel Huot a parent at Carlton Village Junior and Senior school, in Toronto.
Students in high school are hard hit, with some classes as big as 46 students. “Due to cancelled classes, some high school students will not be able to graduate on schedule. Forced e-learning will be another major equity issue. This is an unprecedented attack on kids and our futures” states Savi Gellatly-Ladd, a student at Harbord Collegiate Institute.
Rather than invest in education and the future of all Ontarians, the government has defunded education and given tax breaks to the super wealthy in Ontario. “The federal and provincial Conservative plans are aligned to continue to defund the public education system to make way for a private, for-profit education model, drastically increasing inequity and further disadvantaging poor and racialized students,” says Anna Galati, a parent with children at Sprucecourt P.S. in Toronto, “We say no, and we want to broadcast the realities of these attacks on public Education to the rest of Canada”.
The walk-in rallies will send a strong message about this rapidly growing movement for public education, which will be key in supporting education workers during ongoing elementary and secondary contract negotiations.
“Parents and education workers are united to stop these devastating cuts, and to rebuild public education in Ontario,” says Crystal Bevens-Leblanc a parent in Kingston Ontario with children in both elementary and high schools.
Parents are prepared to support the job actions that are needed to reverse the cuts at the table.