Dear Minister Broten
I am writing to you today as a parent of a child in Ontario’s public school system. Specifically, my child attends Public School in Toronto. Over the past weeks since school began, I have been shocked and disheartened to see first hand the impact of the cuts you have made to our prized education system.
<photo with thanks to: Terrance Lam>
I have seen and heard about the chaos full day kindergarten has created in our schools as a result of being under resourced. I have watch as the sole administrator in our school copes with the demands of hundreds of students, teachers and parents without the support of even a part-time Vice Principal.
Could you imagine having to respond to all these types of letters without all your staff? I have spoken to teachers and learned that despite their best efforts and willingness to compromise, your government has restricted their right to bargain collectively and forced them to shoulder much of the cost of implementing full day kindergarten.
Perhaps the most frustrating part is that I support full day kindergarten. It’s a good thing for our kids and their long term development. What I can’t support is how it has been rolled out and the toll it has taken on our schools. Class sizes of over 30, with 3 and 4 year olds? Have you ever tried to keep track of 30, 3 and 4 year olds at one time? For six hours? Keep them motivated and interested and most importantly, safe?
The combination of full day kindergartsen, cuts to Board budgets and collective bargaining antics have created a mess in our education system that our youngest and most vulnerable students are paying for. Minister, we need your government to fix this. Here’s what I think you should do;
Delay the implementation of the rest of full day kindergarten until the Province can afford to support it properly
In the TDSB, work with the Board to solve the problem of construction and maintenance cost overruns so that the savings can be diverted to the classrooms
Raise corporate taxes to fund education – they benefit the most from a well educated workforce
Raise my taxes – I’m willing to pay more for a proper education for my child
This letter was recently sent to parents and friends in a suburban Toronto school following a School Council Meeting, where several parents expressed frustration at the recent cuts to our education system and wanted to send a loud message to those who make decisions about funding. The Council offered to provide a draft or sample letter, along with a list of recipients.
Laurel Broten, Minister of Education email@example.com
Copy these people:
Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dalton McGuinty, Premier, email@example.com
MichealPrue, MPP Beaches East York firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Tabuns, MPP Toronto Danforth email@example.com
Sheila Carey-Meagher, Trustee Ward 16 , firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Christopher Spence, Director of Education, TDSB Christopher.email@example.com,
RoulaAnastasakos, Superintendant, TDSB Roula.firstname.lastname@example.org
Potential Liberal leadership hopefuls and local MPPs that need to know how you feel;
Kathleen Wynne, MPP Don Valley East email@example.com
Glenn Murray, MPP Toronto Centre Rosedale firstname.lastname@example.org