The Globe and Mail today reports that falling birth rates are responsible for smaller class sizes and the impending closing of some schools. The paper reports:

There are 172 elementary and secondary schools across the province slated or recommended to close over the next three years and another 163 are under review, according to data compiled by People for Education.

The Globe also reports that according to Statistic Canada, there will be a half million fewer students by 2020. I wrote about it in the September issue of The Interim in a brief column entitled “Empty schools. Wonder why?”  The Globe briefly mentioned falling birth rates, a rare moment of candour in discussing the decline in elementary and secondary school enrolment. Studies and news reporting refer to “lost” students but except for a growing trend to send children to private schools (which affects a small but increasing number of children), many of the so-called missing students never existed. Due to smaller family sizes, contraception and abortion, Canada has experienced a significant demographic shift with not only proportionately fewer children, but a decreasing number of children under 18 from year to year. With nearly 100,000 abortions in Canada each year, including 40,000 in Ontario, is it any wonder that classrooms are smaller and schools are empty. I noted this phenomenon in the May cover story on the “Costs and Consequences of Abortion.” In a section on the costs to society, I noted:

From 1997-2005, 11 of 13 provinces and territories experienced a drop in enrolment, with six of them seeing declines of at least 10 per cent. The problem is worst in Atlantic Canada. Dr. Gerald Galway of the Faculty of Education at Memorial University in St. John’s gave a presentation to the 2009 Atlantic School Boards Conference entitled, “Where have all the children gone?” In it, he noted that school enrolment in Atlantic Canada has fallen precipitously over the past several decades. While intra-provincial migration accounts for some decline in population, he mostly blames falling fertility rates. Notably, in Newfoundland, enrolment has declined every year since 1971, except in 1984 (with the introduction of Grade 12). In fact, the school-aged population has been cut in half since 1971, from 160,000 to 80,000.

You can read Dr. Galway’s speech and view his slide presentation for yourself.

So here is a simple question for teachers unions, some of which are officially pro-abortion: why not come out against abortion and in favour of pro-natal policies that would increase family size and eventually the number of students in the class? Or does fidelity to a progressive agenda and left-wing ideology trump even professional self-interest?