July 13th, 2020

Ford needs to line up more teachers, more staff, more classrooms for September

NDP supports safe, small classes for five-day school weeks in the fall

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath pushed again in question period Monday for Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce to create smaller, safer classes in September by getting more teachers, more education workers and more classrooms on board and ready to go for five-day school weeks in the fall.

“The hybrid model will force countless parents out of the workforce — and we all know it’s women who bear the brunt of that,” said Horwath. “It doesn’t have to be this way. If we split students into smaller classes, we can keep them safer and keep them in school five days a week.”

The NDP’s vision for a safe return to schools in September includes:

  • Hiring more teachers
  • Hiring more education workers, including educational assistants, custodians to keep classrooms safe and disinfected, and hiring more early childhood educators to operate child care spaces
  • Sourcing more classroom spaces, including closed classrooms, libraries and unused provincial and municipal spaces, like recreation centres
  • Extra funding to support students who are struggling and students with special needs
  • A plan to address the needs of Black, Indigenous and racialized students whose communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19

Ontario NDP Education critic Marit Stiles will table a motion tomorrow urging the government to implement these measures, and more, as part of an emergency action plan.

“The Ford government needs to start working with its education partners on solutions that will allow kids to return to safer, smaller classrooms full time in September,” said Ontario NDP Education critic Marit Stiles. “Doug Ford and his education minister have been working on cutting thousands of teaching jobs, and hiking average class sizes with no caps. That’s completely contrary to what kids and parents need to get back to school and work in September.”