So much for Ford's promises on education
So much for promises.
First Premier Doug Ford promised no public service workers would lose their jobs under his government. Then it became no “front-line” worker.
Now it’s looking like teachers, as front-line as they come, are not going to be included in Ford’s fluid definition.
Education Minister Lisa Thompson and Ford keep insisting that no teachers will lose their jobs as a result of their plan to increase class sizes and eliminate (through attrition) 3,475 teaching positions over four years, but evidence is starting to contradict that.
School boards from Toronto to Guelph have already announced some 1,500 layoffs, with more to come.
While it’s normal for boards to issue some layoff notices in the spring only to later find positions for those teachers as enrollment and government funding becomes clearer, the numbers are much higher this year.
Earlier this month, for example, the Toronto District School Board sent out about 1,000 layoff notices to teachers, up from 300 last year. And this week the Peel District School Board sent notices to 313 teachers.
These layoffs, and the other teacher reductions from the government’s plan to dramatically increase high school class sizes, will leave students will less support and fewer class options. Worse still, high school graduation rates that have soared to an all-time high of 80 per cent since the former Liberal government began investing heavily in education, are being put at risk.
The Ford government may want to dismiss teachers but Ontario can’t afford to lose those education gains.