On April 4, over 100,000 students at over 700 high schools across Ontario walked out to protest the Doug Ford government’s proposed cuts to education on April 4. Organized by students, this mass walkout is believed to be the largest student protest in Canadian history.
Days later, on April 6, over 30,000 educators, students, parents, and community members gathered in front of the Ontario Legislature to rally in support of education. A postsecondary contingent of college and university faculty and students marched joined the rally in solidarity.
The Rally for Education was organized by unions across Ontario, including AEFO, CUPE-Ontario, ETFO, OECTA, OSBCU, and OSSTF.
These actions were organized in opposition to the Progressive Conservative government’s proposed cuts to education, which will:
- Increase class size in grades 4-8 and high school;
- Download the responsibilities of supporting children with autism onto public schools without providing adequate funding; and
- Reduce the number of teachers and support staff in schools across the province.
The student-led mass walkout and Rally for Education were some of the first actions protesting the government’s attacks on elementary and secondary education. The proposed cuts will have detrimental effects on the quality of education and the supports available to students at Ontario’s elementary and high schools. Those impacts on education quality will ripple through the education system and likely undermine the academic readiness of those who reach university.
Students and educators have made it clear that they have not been consulted on these changes, and that their views have not been taken into account in the government’s proposed legislation.
Faculty associations in Ontario understand the dangers of funding cuts and stand together with students, educators, and parents in demanding adequate funding for Ontario’s education system.