What are the major cuts Ford has made to education?
Ford’s cuts affect a few key areas: math, health and physical education (HPE; also commonly called the “Sex Ed” curriculum), school repairs, Indigenous education, and American Sign Language (ASL) support.
Is the 1998 curriculum really being taught in schools?
Elementary school teachers have been given an interim HPE document, which covers sex education. Importantly, the interim version does not include body part names like “penis,” or consent, or masturbation, while instead encouraging abstinence. Secondary school teachers have not been given direction.
What about this “snitch line”?
The Ford government unveiled a website called “For The Parents” at fortheparents.ca. The website links to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), where parents can call to file a complaint, but the OCT does not investigate anonymous reports, so it’s not exactly a snitch line. Ford has also pledged to hold public consultations on the Sex Ed curriculum (which, of course, already occurred before the 2015 curriculum was released).
- Support progressive trustee candidates: School boards still have a lot of say in what happens in schools, particularly with regards to budgets and spending. Electing progressive trustees means that educators will be supported as they try to improve conditions for students.
- Join the Curriculum Consultation: the consultation process around the curriculum is officially open. Sign up here and have your voice heard.
- Support the Campaign for Public Education and the “Fix our Schools” Campaign: These are grassroots organizers working to improve funding and brings attention to the huge repair backlogs in Ontario schools.
- Support education workers! Follow OSSTF, ETFO and others for information on demonstrations and actions you can support.