I realize I could ask this question of basically any group that isn’t either a corporation or an old family friend, but why, exactly, does Doug Ford seem to hate children so much? First his government decided that there was no need for them to have an advocate, and now, without warning as tends to be the case with so many of the mean-spirited things these assholes do, they’re gutting a fund that provides, among other things, for tutors for students who need extra help. And as usual when you have a sound policy that’s easy to defend, they announced the move on Friday night after everyone had gone home.
The Ontario government is slashing millions of dollars in funding for programs that are aimed at providing students with extra skills and support, leaving school boards to figure out how students will be affected.
A spokeswoman for Education Minister Lisa Thompson said $25 million was slashed from the budget after the government reviewed the “Education Programs – Other” fund.
“Despite only accounting for less than one per cent of school board funding, this fund has a long track record of wasteful spending, overspending and millions of dollars of unfunded commitments,” Kayla Iafelice said in an emailed statement.
The fund, which will now total $400 million for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, gives schools money for things like tutors and leadership programming.
The cuts will affect each of the province’s 72 school boards differently, as the boards don’t all provide the same programs under the fund, Iafelice said.
An email sent to school boards on Friday contains a list of programs that will see their funding reduced or cancelled.
The cancellations include programs that provide tutors in classrooms, and extra services for Indigenous and otherwise racialized students.
Maria Rizzo, chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, said she was “blindsided” by the funding cuts and worries how special needs students in her board will be affected.
“The government gives us money so we can use it for the kids for programs to help them,” Rizzo said. “Anything they take away, they take away from those kids.”
Rizzo and Robin Pilkey, chair of the Toronto District School Board, said they were surprised that school boards were notified about the cuts on Friday evening, when most administrators had left work for the weekend.
If I have to stick around and explain to anyone why this is not good, chances are that person is part of the problem.