The Ontario School Board will have up to $ 1.6 billion to spend on COVID-19 costs for the next school year


The Ontario government says the school’s board will be worth up to $ 1.6 billion to help COVID costs for the coming school year, including money from the board’s reserves. But providing details about the fall, Education Minister Stephen Lacey did not say whether the children would return for individual classes before the end of June.

Lesse said advice from the province’s chief medical officer of health, who in mid-April recommended the closure of all schools learning “has not changed at this point”, so they are closed for now because the province is a The stay remains under- at the behest of the house.

However, Lacey said, “We have a responsibility to plan ahead for September. We have been doing this for months. “

The province has also confirmed that online tutoring will remain an option for all families for the entire 2021-22 school year as “parents want that option in September. We are unsure when this epidemic will take us … (And) the lesson is to be prepared for any situation. “

After initially telling the board about the budget for the fund with no additional epidemics, the province announced it would provide additional funding, and allowed them to dive back into their reserves again for the school year of 2021-22 Will give.

The fund includes $ 383.6 million for temporary additional staffing; $ 55 million for Internet connectivity and new devices; $ 450 million for personal protective equipment for employees and students; $ 86 million to place additional public health nurses working with schools on COVID-19 efforts; And it will also allow the board to access up to $ 508 million of its reserve fund.

Money has been set aside for transportation, student mental health, and $ 85.5 million to address learning gaps during the epidemic, including summer school and early reading support.

However, the ministry has stated that the board should only plan to spend half of the COVID resources for now, and see what the situation is for the second half of the school year before allocating the remaining funds.

NDP education reviewer Marit Stiles said that Lassey’s announcement lacked “clarity …”, which looks like a future for children in the context of returning to school. We did not hear anything about him. Instead what we heard was a lot about many other things including online learning.

“… Most families want schools to be made safe so that children can go back to safe, small classrooms. They need to be with their friends, their teachers, their peers. We must take bold steps to support our children. “

He said he hoped for an “ambitious plan to recover learning for our children” who have struggled during the epidemic, which “will be a disruption of our children’s learning for about two years.”

Liz Stuart, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, said the funding ‘does not speed up the cost’ and should not be lost, with minister Lacey Trumpets ‘trending’ additional funding to respond to ‘Coves-19’. Whatever it is providing insufficient amount as in the previous year.

The province’s operating fund for the board, called a grant for students’ needs – not including the COVID declaration – is approximately $ 25.6 billion for the coming year, with a total increase of $ 561 million from the current year.

This works out to a per-pupil amount of $ 12,525 to $ 12,686 for this year.

The Ontario Public School Boards Association “is pleased that the government will continue to provide funding for a number of epidemic-related items, including personal protective equipment, public health nurses, and the renewal of technology and equipment,” said President Cathy Abraham.

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However, he said, “School boards are now deciding for the school year of 2021-22, which includes both school and distance education and requires them to remain part of the discussion about the return-to-school plan.” “

The province is also urging the board to have relationships with students in the fall to limit contact, and high school students have to learn in the “quadmeister”, meaning they still earn eight credits a year Are, but take two at a time.

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