Talking here about schools. Our public school here in Toronto is over 90 years old, has 1000 students (capacity 800) and is literally falling apart, but rather than spending money on basic infrastructure the Ontario Dept. of Education would rather splurge on forcing every school – whether they have the space or not – to make the switch from half-day to all-day kindergarten.
(Deftly turning a daycare issue into an education system issue. What we really need are affordable daycare spots, not a plan to shoehorn more kids into an underfunded school system!)
It’s a simple, predictable problem. In our school, as in others, the morning kindergarten classes share the same classrooms with the afternoon kindergarten classes, naturally. Soooo, if everyone does full-day, you need twice the number of classrooms.
We’re just lucky we got through kindergarten here before our school switched, because I don’t know where they’re going to put everyone – in the hall? the gym? the furnace room?
And luckily we got through our two years of junior and senior kindergarten fully staffed with teachers and teaching assistants before they lowered the axe on the TA’s just recently. Also thankfully the teachers the Boss has had have been extraordinary – warm and caring and professional and helpful despite being constantly hobbled by gov’t directives. Also also also thankfully we’ll be moving before she becomes immersed in the teach-to-the-test idiocy of the upper grades.
And don’t even get me started on the french immersion mania that goes on in my neighbourhood. (Recently leading to boundary changes for the school and much parental hysteria.)
We seem to be headed to an even more dysfunctional Dept. of Education, in B.C., where they’d rather spend money putting iPads in the hands of every child than pay teachers a decent wage and allow them to do their jobs.
I am a staunch supporter of public schools, I am loyal to them and believe in public education with all my heart. But heavy-handed government interference and lack of adequate funding is really starting to make home-schooling look darn good.
In the end, however, we’ll stay in the system, just because the teachers are so wonderful.