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Canada: 29 May – National Fundraising Count Day aims to audit commercial activities in schools

EI affiliates the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) and the Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement (FSE) invite teachers and principals across the country to walk around in their schools and carry out an audit of fundraising and advertising activities, as part of a National Fundraising Count Day on May 29.

“Walk around the school, take a snapshot of the extent to which your school relies on fundraising and other means to generate revenue,” invites CTF President Winston Carter. Carter explains that over the past decade, schools and classrooms have been increasingly viewed as a marketing environment like no other. “Corporate marketers openly describe it as an ideal environment in which to reach this increasingly influential consumer group – students – required by law to be in school, five days a week, six hours a day, 10 months of the year, until they reach the age of 16,” he says. “Publicly funded education, which is universally accessible and inclusive, is a societal responsibility that was instituted to provide equal opportunities for all children. Funding for this public good is an obligation of provincial and territorial governments. Sources other than public funding can divert or compromise the ability of public schools to fulfill the expectations established for them,” concludes Carter. CTF launched the National Fundraising Count Day on the heels of a major national report studying commercialism in Canadian schools. Released May 15, the report "Commercialism in Canadian schools – Who’s calling the shots?" documents the nature and extent of commercial activities in elementary and secondary schools and the degree to which public funding is being replaced or supplemented by private funding sources, including school fundraising, advertising, partnerships and sponsorships, corporate-sponsored educational materials and user fees. The pan-Canadian survey and report were jointly conducted by CTF, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), and another EI affiliate the Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement (FSE is a member of the Quebec-based Centrale des syndicats du Québec).

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