The Ford government recently announced its plans to steamroll ahead with a reckless “performance” based funding plan. Postsecondary faculty, academic librarians, staff, and students are opposed to this flawed funding experiment and give the government a failing grade for its approach.
The government, which already provides the lowest postsecondary per-student funding in Canada, has now announced that it will allow per-student funding to drop by more than 10 per cent. This negligence will starve Ontario universities and colleges of vital resources required to ensure students receive a high-quality education. The plan will almost certainly lead to larger class sizes.
Further, the government is accelerating its plan to implement the reckless new funding model, which will now be phased in over just three years, instead of five.
The performance-based funding model is a solution in search of a problem. Instead of helping colleges and universities, the new funding plan will immobilize Ontario’s institutions of postsecondary education by wrapping them in unnecessary red tape.
Ontario’s universities and colleges should play a vital role in the province’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a time of unprecedented instability, why is the Ford government so intent on wasting money on a funding experiment that will further destabilize Ontario’s postsecondary education system?
Now is the time for predictable, stable funding, not a reckless and destabilizing funding experiment.
If the government meaningfully consulted with college and university faculty, staff, and students, they would know that this is the wrong funding model at the worst possible time. Unfortunately, this government has spent more than two years intentionally ignoring faculty, academic librarians, staff, and student voices.
The Ford government has stood on the sidelines and watched universities and colleges struggle during this pandemic. If our postsecondary education system is going to improve, this government needs to start listening to students, staff and faculty. It is time for the government to step up and invest in the province’s universities and colleges.
Janice Folk-Dawson, Executive Vice President – Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)
Rahul Sapra, President – Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)
David Simao, Chair – Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)- Ontario University Sector
Harvey Bischof, President – Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
Craig Reynold, Regional Executive Vice-President – Public Service Alliance of Canada (Ontario Region)
Alex Silas, Regional Executive Vice President, PSAC-NCR
Sébastien Lalonde, Chairperson – Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario (CFS-O)
RM Kennedy, Chair – Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) – College Faculty Divisional Executive