Open Letter to QPAT members May 14, 2011 Rally in Quebec City

May 16, 2011
The Board of Directors of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the alliance of 17 Member organizations and Ontario affiliate representing 200,000 teachers from across Canada salute you for taking part in this wonderful rally for public education today.

Quality public education is a promise to every child in Canada.  That is why public schools open their doors to welcome every child regardless of the challenges they may face. Public schools also attempt to level the playing field for the poor and disadvantaged in society. Their mission is to educate an increasingly diverse student population with children from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, a population reflective of Canadian society as a whole.

But if public education is to be of high quality, it must be supported by adequate public resources that are collected and distributed fairly and equitably.

So what’s in the promise for public education in Quebec?  Although the Quebec government adopted a motion last October that would see improvements to support students with special needs in public schools, nothing has happened yet.  Students are still waiting for this promise to become reality.

Teachers from across Canada are in unison with their Quebec counterparts. We support your call to the Quebec provincial government for a framework and adequate resources to help balance classes in order to meet the educational needs of all students -- including those with handicaps, behaviour problems or learning disabilities. We are also inviting teachers from across Canada to sign your online petition.

We hope the Quebec government will live up to its promise and show respect for its students. They deserve nothing less. Thank you for speaking up on behalf of your students!

In solidarity,

Mary-Lou Donnelly

President, Canadian Teachers' Federation