QUEEN’S PARK — London’s three NDP MPPs, Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Peggy Sattler (London West), said the elimination of more than 300 teaching jobs at the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) — a result of the Ford government’s sweeping classroom cuts — will have serious consequences for students.
The NDP, including Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath, fought for London schools at Queen's Park on Wednesday, following a draft report from the TDVSB which said the Ford Conservatives increasing class sizes has led to a projected loss of 291 teaching positions across the board’s secondary schools, and 38 losses in elementary schools. 1,620 classes will no longer be offered at the TDVSB.
“Everyone has different needs and abilities, and evidence shows that students are best set up for success when they have a variety of courses to choose from, as well as dedicated, one-on-one attention from teachers,” Armstrong said.
“Ford’s cruel cuts to Ontario classrooms mean not only will there be fewer adults in schools and less one-on-one support for every student, but also that TDVSB students will have a dramatically smaller list of courses to choose from and therefore fewer enriching opportunities,” said Kernaghan.
Horwath said Ford’s province-wide education cuts, which include forcing high school students to take four courses online and which will eliminate thousands of teaching jobs, are “depriving students of opportunities to learn.”
“Students and parents in our region are watching courses disappear, and watching beloved teachers get lay-off notices,” Sattler said. “An online course is not a substitute for in-person learning, and a classroom overrun with students lowers the quality of education for everyone.
“Students and their families, as well as teachers and education workers, deserve better than a government that makes cold-hearted cuts to their education.”