Letter to the editor: Educator opposed to province’s funding cuts

Dear Member Scott

As a former educational leader with Scarborough Board of Education/TDSB and current advocate for quality public education I want to express my strong opposition to the proposed cuts to education funding and to formally register my input to the Minister of Education’s consultation process.

The proposed cuts will generate detrimental results that include the following:

• Students both elementary and secondary will have less individualized support and instruction at a time when levels of special needs and mental health anxieties are rising.

Proposed changes in learning conditions will have the greatest impact on students and families of the most vulnerable in our province.

Program choices in secondary schools will be narrowed in all the optional subject areas at a time when employers want employees with a wide range of diverse skills.

Significantly larger secondary school class sizes will result in higher failure rates increased drop-out numbers and elevated youth unemployment due to lessened skill sets.

The secondary school online course requirements assume that all families have the finances necessary to equip their children with a computer and an internet service provider. This requirement reflects a blatant elitist disregard for current financial hardships and the deepening of classism.

The lack of regard for the accommodation of various student learning styles and the delivery model change in autism support reflect inattention to long-standing research on pedagogy and learning.

The reduction of staff/student ratios will have a particular effect on schools in small Ontario communities forcing some to close and will make some communities non-viable without a local school.

I urge immediate reconsideration of the proposed funding cuts before their implementation causes irreversible consequences and damage to the quality and reputation of the Ontario public education system.

Gary Hunt

Principal (retired) and grandfather to three young Ontario students