May 25th, 2018

Horwath promises $16 billion to fix neglected schools

SCARBOROUGH – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced Friday that she’ll tackle the repairs schools need throughout the province with a $16 billion investment.

“Our children should be safe and comfortable in their school,” said Horwath. “But for years, Conservative and Liberal premiers, including Kathleen Wynne, have neglected schools, even as the list of things broken and falling apart grew. Now, children in some schools wear their winter coats during the day in rundown, frigid classrooms. Some drinking fountains are not safe to drink from. And parents, teachers, educators and students are fed up with the repairs piling up, and nothing being done.

“I absolutely reject Doug Ford’s plan to cut over $6 billion dollars across the board. Just the education portion of those cuts mean Ford’s Conservatives would fire 28,000 teachers and put as many as 780 schools on the chopping block. We should be giving our children more support, opportunity and resources – not less.”

There are now $15 billion-worth of necessary repairs in schools throughout the province that haven’t been done. Horwath was joined by Scarborough—Rouge Park candidate Felicia Samuels at Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute, where, according to the Toronto District School Board, the high school has been allowed to deteriorate to the point that repairs will cost almost as much as the value of the building. Its evaluation shows dozens of urgent and high-needs repairs from roofing to the hot water pipes and the seats in the auditorium.

“There is no excuse for a government in a province as fortunate as Ontario to fail to provide for its children,” said Horwath.
“We will invest $16 billion over the next decade to fix our crumbling schools. From cracking foundations to leaky roofs and unsafe drinking fountains, it’s time to get this job done.”

Horwath’s Change for the Better platform includes other major improvements in schools, including:

  • A new funding formula
  • Curbing class sizes and supporting vulnerable students
  • A moratorium on school closures
  • Hiring more teachers and educational assistants
  • Capping kindergarten class sizes at 26 students, and ending split classes for kindergarten and Grade 1 students
  • Ending EQAO testing
  • Ensuring schools teach inclusive history, including Indigenous history and the impact of colonialism, and the history of the Black community in Ontario
  • Ensuring special education funding based on student needs, not overall populations