Protect our Ontario Kindergarten classrooms & programs

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Within the last year, the Ontario Government has made many cuts the education system.  There are now talks within the government to remove the cap size of Kindergarten classrooms and also to replace the Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) with an Early Childhood Educator (ECE).   Additionally, the continued budget cuts from the Ministry of Education has forced the TDSB to cancel the Kindergarten Intervention Program (KIP).

What happens if classroom sizes are increased? This will negatively impact the quality of education, significantly reduce the support and resources for a child, and limit the teacher-student interactions.  

What are the impacts to replacing the Kindergarten OCT with ECE?  The current model for Kindergarten which includes an OCT and designated ECE is based on international research.  It been proven to provide lasting benefits for the children's reading, writing, numeracy, self-regulation and social skills.  Having two ECE in Kindergarten classrooms will result in detrimental changes to a child's education, not to mention the loss of over 1,500 OCT jobs. 

What is KIP and why do we need it?  KIP is designed for students in junior and senior kindergarten with special needs. Children in KIP often exhibit behaviors that are either self-injurious or injurious to others peers.  The cancellation of this program puts not only the child in need of early intervention at risk but also the other children in the classrooms. 

This petition is to have the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the Ministry of Education commit to the following:
1) Do not increase classroom sizes
2) Maintain the current Kindergarten teaching model
3) Reverse the budget cuts so the TDSB can maintain KIP