Today thousands of students join together to protest against, education cuts in Ontario. The organization #studentssayno has organized 700 schools across Ontario to walk out to encourage the current government under the leadership of Doug Ford, to remove the cuts to after-school programs, the inclusion of mandatory online courses, increase class sizes and the cellphone ban. These cuts will affect the education system drastically, for both students and teachers. Doug Ford the leader of the conservative party has proposed to cut funds to after-school programs for at-risk youth, the autism programming, aboriginal programs, and programs for the arts to name a few. According to the TDSB chair Robin Pilkey, there will be a cut to a lot of electives that students use to think about there futures. There will also be budget cuts to OSAP funding in meaning that students will no longer get access to complete coverage of there tuition. There will also be a 28 to 1 student ratio in which is the minimum, and the maximum ratio is said to increase to 40 to 1. These means that thousands of teachers will experience job losses. Doug Ford proposes that students will be required to complete 4 online courses in order to graduate high school. Teachers, regardless of being at a primary and secondary level, will have to take a mandatory math test in order to continue teaching. If the teacher does not pass this test, they will no longer be able to continue being an educator. In contrast, Doug Ford proposed in a debate at city hall that in I quote "we will still experience the lowest class size... our focus is on literacy and math to actually ensure students get a job". This includes a curriculum reform that will be centred around a renewed focus on STEM, financial literacy and skilled trade. However, Doug Ford still proposes to cut 1.4 billion dollars to the education system as a whole. Students are raising their voices to fight against these cuts, preserve student funding, and prevent job loss for teachers as well as the protection of students needs.
If you want to learn more about the student walk out and how you can get involved follow the hashtag #studentssayno