July 24th, 2020
July 24th, 2020
BRAMPTON — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Doug Ford shouldn’t just hope it’ll be safe for students to attend school five days a week in the fall — he should make it safe.
The Official Opposition leader was in Brampton Friday, where she acknowledged the pressure parents are coping with, and the solution she believes the premier should be putting in place immediately.
“During this pandemic, parents have been doing the superhuman work of juggling parenting, working from home and supporting kids with at-home learning,” said Horwath. “Knowing how incredibly difficult that’s been, I’m shocked that Doug Ford appears not to be taking any action at all to get enough safe, small classrooms ready so every child can go back to school in the fall.”
“If I were premier, I’d be hiring teachers and education workers, sourcing temporary classrooms, and getting extra supports lined up for students with special needs. There’s no time to waste if we’re going to be ready for fall.”
Instead, with five weeks left to go before school is supposed to start, Ford has panicked parents by pitching an unworkable hybrid model, which will leave families to hunt for child care, or stop working to stay home multiple days a week. Horwath said there’s no reason to consider the hybrid model except to save the costs associated with temporarily smaller class sizes.
“Mr. Ford is trying to save money on the backs of our children again,” said Horwath. “Giving all students a class to go to every day, instead of just half of them, is an investment not only in kids and their education, but also it’s also an investment in their parents, and in getting our economy moving again.”
Ford has been making deep cuts to education, including a plan to slash thousands of teachers and education workers and hike class sizes. By cutting funding for school building and repairs, he’s allowed the backlog of necessary repairs grow to $16.3 billion.
NDP safe return to schools motion
In addition to hiring more staff and funding extra support for students and school upgrades, the NDP and Education critic Marit Stiles have moved a motion for an emergency action plan to get kids back to class. It includes: