Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced today that school boards in the province will have access to additional funding for resources and back-to-school preparations. This funding will go towards hiring more staff, teaching supports, and internet and technology access. Today’s announcement includes:
- Unlocking access to reserves up to $496 million, an increase of $244 million, by allowing boards to access up to 2 per cent of their operating budget from their prior year accumulated surplus. For boards that do not have sufficient reserves, the government will provide up to an additional $11 million in funding to support equitable school re-opening plans province wide.
- Providing $50 million in one-time funding to support improved ventilation, air quality and HVAC system effectiveness in schools. Boards will focus on improving air systems in older schools, portables, and in neighbourhoods with higher rates of community transmission.
The funding announcement comes on the heels of many unions and health experts saying that reduced class sizes is a must. Today’s announcement places no additional caps on class sizes for Grade 4 to 8. School boards must only adhere to a maximum class average of 24.5 students across the board.
Lecce provided more details for online learning, including a remote teaching mandate that all school boards will have to follow. Guidelines were issued for remote learning, synchronous learning and asynchronous learning (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/164.html).
|Grade||Synchronous Learning Requirement|
|Grade 1 to 3||225 minutes|
|Grade 4 to 8||225 minutes|
|Grade 9 to 12||The higher of 60 minutes for each 75-minute class period or 225 minutes per day for a full course schedule|
Lecce previously announced a $15 million investment into providing technology for students.
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