Cuts, Cuts, Cuts: Ontarios New Education Funding Guide

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1725 ... December 19, 2018

Cuts, Cuts, Cuts: Ontario’s New Education Funding Guide:
A First Step Toward Privatization?

Dudley Paul

It is a miserable Season’s Greetings card to Ontarians; a lump of coal called the Education Funding Guide 2019-20. It’s setting us up for cuts to education in the order of 4 cents on the dollar -- or about $1-billion out of a $24-billion education budget. Education Minister Lisa Thompson, prefaces this 5-page disaster with the unbelievable comment that "educating our children is the most important job in the world." In the next breath she outlines a possible 4 per cent cut and then asks us how we’d like to do it.

If it’s possible to be clearer about her lack of regard for educating our children, just as... I was writing this article Ms. Thompson cut $25-million from the Education Programs-Other (EP-O). This program provides a host of services not usually covered by education grants: community outreach, after-school programs for students on the autism spectrum and leadership for youth. According to the Toronto Star, grants were cancelled outright for tutors in the classroom, support for daily physical activity, a program to promote leaders in racialized communities, as well as another to promote equitable access to post-secondary education. As usual, the cut came without warning, with an emailed announcement this past Friday night. School Boards don’t yet know how much of the money they were promised for these programs back in March will actually arrive, if any.

This is just another opportunity provided by the Ford government’s so-called ballooning deficit. There are many others: cancelling the Basic Income Pilot Project, funds for upgrading school buildings, shutting down the Truth and Reconciliation curriculum writing program, getting rid of Ontario’s child advocate -- the list goes on.

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