Why this petition matters
Toronto District School Board Trustees:
Toronto parents, education staff, and students are sounding the alarm that our schools are dangerously underfunded.
Insufficient staff numbers and resources mean students are under-supervised, and denied basic supports. A multitude of preventable dangers result from this, including increased risk of serious physical injury, emotional distress, and violence for which students receive undue blame.
Failure to hire enough staff means that when teachers and support staff are sick, there is often nobody to fill in for them. In the routine struggle to fill absences in a school, special programs get cancelled. Oversized classrooms get merged. Schoolyards and lunchrooms go under-supervised.
Children and youth cannot be expected to learn at a school that lacks the stability and safety that comes from proper funding.
Black, Brown, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIA+, and working-class students are made disproportionately vulnerable by cuts. Their families are least able to fill in the gaps with fundraisers to buy equipment, and volunteer labour to provide supervision.
Equity programs do not make up for, or excuse, the disparity between Toronto’s most marginalized school communities, and those with the most privilege, caused by cuts to basic school operations.
Due diligence to protect the safety and well-being of students is the most fundamental responsibility of the Toronto District School Board.
We call upon the Toronto District School Board, to develop a needs-based budget. This budget must be based on student needs as expressed by TDSB's students, school staff, parents and guardians. In addition, it must address the results of a thorough and objective risk assessment of existing hazards to students’ physical safety and mental well-being in TDSB schools. This needs-based budget must eliminate all unreasonable risks to TDSB students.
- Rachel Chernos LinTDSB Chair of the Board
- Neethan ShanTDSB Vice Chair of the Board