Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca has taken the wraps off a $3.2 Billion plan that would engage extra teachers and cleaning staff to allow schools to reopen this fall. In a statement released today the Liberal leader said “Students and their parents in Hamilton have been waiting for far too long to hear what will happen in September,” said Del Duca. “Living with this uncertainty has caused unnecessary anxiety during what has already been a stressful time. Getting our students back to school safely is what kids critically need for their own development and it’s the only way their Moms and Dads can have peace of mind to return to work.
“Since the government hasn’t unveiled a plan for the fall, I did,” said Steven Del Duca.
For Hamilton public and catholic boards his Students in Schools Action Plan calls for 650 new classroom locations, the hiring of 710 additional educators and 320 additional caretakers in Hamilton. In Halton (HDSB & HCDSB) the plan would see 1,300 new classroom locations in community centres, campuses, arenas, etc. 890 additional educators to reduce class sizes and 340 additional caretakers to keep schools and school buses clean.
Province-wide Del Duca’s Students in Schools Action Plan will cost $3.2 billion* and will fund:
– 15,000 More Elementary Teachers to reduce class size to 15 $1.30 billion
– 10,000 More Caretakers to keep elementary and secondary schools clean $500 million
– 14,000 New Classrooms in Community Centres, Campuses, Arenas, etc. $200 million
– 2,000 More Secondary Teachers $170 million
– School Transportation (Cleaning, Retrofits, Staggered Starts) $80 million
– Sufficient Cleaning/Hygiene Supplies and Equipment $120 million
– 1,500 Special Education Professionals to Help Close Learning Gaps $120 million
– New equipment for students and educators (approx. 400,000 new devices) $200 million
– Reverse PC Cuts to School Mental Health and hire 1,000 more Mental Health Professionals to support staff and students $75 million
– Provincial Leadership in Centrally Procuring and Purchasing Personal Protective
Equipment for Students and Staff (e.g., face shields, masks, gloves) $110 million
– Support Parental Engagement and Communication $25 million
– Public Health Coordination of Screening, Testing and Contact Tracing N/A
– Contingency (10%) $290 million
The release says the funding is one-time funding and assumes a vaccine will be rolled out before the 2021-22 school year.