Clearly, current provincial austerity policies are having an immediate and lasting impact for working class kids who are forced to take on part time work to help their families cover monthly costs. (Reports suggest that the vast majority of high school students work in part time jobs.)
After years of cuts Ontario has the lowest tax rates in Canada and spends the least on social programs and services. (Falling Behind, Ontario Common Front, August 29, 2012).
At the same time school boards are forced to choose between well funded quality programs for student excellence and keeping our neighbourhood schools open.
If schools play such an central role in building our neighbourhoods and educating our children for good jobs, and if schools are such critically high priorities for parents, students and communities, why wouldn’t our government takes steps to secure the necessary cash to expand the education budget? Is it not time to ditch austerity policies and:
- implement prosperity policies for public education?
- insist on prosperity policies for young members of Ontario’s workforce?
- reverse the 2009 cut to Ontario’s corporate tax rate so that corporations begin to pay their fair share?