Students in every city, and in most high schools across Ontario are walking out and playing their role as an inspiring force to wake-up our collective fight against the Ford Government. The Young Communist League of Canada fully supports high school students walking out of classrooms today at 1:15 pm to protest against the Ford Government’s unprecedented attacks on public education.
Students walked out in the Fall semester against the “Progressive” Conservative Government cancelling consultations to update the Indigenous curriculum and the homophobic and transphobic reversal back to the 1998 Sex Ed Curriculum. On March 20th, Post Secondary Education students then walked out against cuts to our grants and attacks on our right to organize collectively in student unions on campus. Now, high school students carry the torch of resistance again, and teachers, students, and their families are buzzing with discontent over devastating cuts to public education that will hurt working-class and marginalized students the most.
As youth and students, we know that teaching conditions are learning conditions. If passed, the increases in the students per teacher ratio from 22 to 28 and the implementation of 4 mandatory online courses for every high school student will result in thousands of less teaching jobs in Ontario, meaning less student choice for electives in every subject, especially in the arts, humanities, and tech courses. The increase in the students per teacher ratio will also mean that students who need the most support to succeed will fall further behind in large class sizes and without individual support. It means schools in higher income neighbourhoods will continue to fundraise more towards their education than schools with more working-class, racialized, and immigrant students, which will fall further behind in quality of education than they already are.
Ford’s long term goal is for the cuts to result in the further privatization of public education, the implementation of charter schools run by private companies which function only to make a profit, not enhance student success, and the exodus of students from rich families to private elite schools while the working class stay in inadequately funded public education. He wants to cut education and pay off debt on the backs of working class students and working class people, when instead, the rich and big corporations need to pay more through taxes for a better and higher quality public education.
We know that education is an investment and not a cost. Together, we won’t let the Ford Government get away with screwing with our futures and the opportunities of future generations. The Post-Secondary Education walkout on March 20th and the high school walkout today are only the beginning of what will be an intense struggle for quality, public education, for everyone. Say no to cuts! Say yes to Public Education! Ford wants us to shut up, but instead we’ll shut him up!