September marks the beginning of a new year in Ontario’s elementary schools, high schools and universities – all places where OSSTF/FEESO members play a crucial role in the lives of the province’s students.
It’s always an exciting time of year, a fresh start infused with new possibilities for our students and ourselves.
This September, though, that excitement and anticipation is accompanied by apprehension and uncertainty because Ontario’s world-class education system is under attack by our own provincial government.
For students, parents, guardians, and education workers, the effects are already evident. Courses and programs in your schools have been cancelled. Some of your colleagues do not have a job to return to this year.
These impacts are only a hint of what’s to come if the Ford government’s war on education is allowed to unfold as planned over the next four years.
The stark reality is this: just as we are the front-line workers in our universities and our schools, we have no choice but to assume the front lines in the struggle to defend the public education system that we have built together.
I urge all of you to stay active and informed during the coming year.
We are facing the biggest threat to publicly funded education in a generation. We have no choice but to confront these challenges, together, with all the resolve we can muster. 100 years of our Federation’s history has taught us that no one better understands what’s at stake. No one is better positioned to defend our schools.
I hope you and the students you work with have as good a start to the school year as possible under these trying circumstances. Your time and dedication to publicly funded education makes all the difference.