The Campaign for Public Education (CPE) is an assembly for exchange, coordination and advocacy composed of Toronto community groups and organizations campaigning to rebuild our publicly funded education system. Represented at our monthly table are parents, ethno-racial communities, students, adult learners, teachers, education workers, school trustees, city councilors, early childhood educators, social planners and academic researchers.
We insist that the necessary resources be allocated from our public taxes to support – in fundamental ways – the lifelong needs of all who want to learn.
CPE strives to give voice to the city’s most marginalized communities, who are historically under-represented when decisions about education and lifelong learning are made.
Increasingly, our members work in tandem with education advocates across Canada, who are becoming all too familiar with the impacts of underfunded public education.
CPE was formed during city amalgamation to defend public education. Together we led the Toronto fight against the Harris / Eves education funding cutbacks. With school trustees, we were successful in launching the “Need to Succeed” campaign across the city. This campaign played a critical role in electing a new provincial government and many energetic new trustees.
Fundamentally, the crisis in education funding has not been addressed. School programs, school buildings, school staffing and school equipment all continue to face massive challenges. The impact on Toronto’s communities is immense. Children, young people, parents, adult learners, new Canadians and seniors see the impact daily. The programs and services that over many years have provided essential support for adult upgrading are still severely disabled.
We at the Campaign for Public Education continue our struggle to rebuild public education in Toronto. We recognize that not so long ago the city-wide network of community-based schools were the centre of healthy communities. Public education requires our urgent attention after years of de-funding followed by inadequate and piecemeal solutions. To date Ontario Governments have not addressed the education funding formula.
Organizations working togethr under the umbrella of the Campaign are alarmed that we are still living under the Mike Harris framework for education funding. Without urgently-needed funds for city schools, programs, buildings and equipment Toronto’s communities – including children, youth, adult learners and seniors – will continue to be seriously impacted.