Tembo Financial October 7, 2020 No Comments

School re-opening remains a contentious issue in the province. In this blog post, Tembo will outline where resources are going to manage school re-opening in Ontario. While some schools have closed and case numbers in the system are slowly increasing, the province believes that it is essential for kids to be back in school getting the direct support they need. The province has also repeatedly emphasized that the re-opening plan is a ‘living document’, that can be changed if conditions worsen or change. In total, the province is spending $1.3 billion on the re-opening plan:

  • $100 million to hire more teachers to keep class sizes small;
  •   $90 million for personal protective equipment for staff and students;
  •   $62.5 million to hire 625 public health nurses to monitor for COVID-19 in schools;
  •   $23.6 million for testing;
  •   $79 million to hire up to 1,300 additional dedicated custodians and purchase cleaning supplies;
  •   $65.5 million for enhanced cleaning and safety measures for student transportation;
  •   $10 million for health and safety training of occasional teachers and education workers;
  •   $42.5 million to support students with special needs and provide student mental health supports;
  •   $50 million in one-time funding to support improved ventilation, air quality and HVAC system effectiveness in schools;
  •   $54 million to hire additional principals, vice-principals and administrative staffing supports to better deliver and oversee remote learning;
  •   $100 million to be responsive to local school board reopening plan priorities supporting a broad range of activities such as increasing the number of educators, custodians, additional bussing supports, and keeping class sizes small;
  •   $15 million to purchase approximately 30,000 technological devices for students;
  •   $44.5 million towards the school bus driver retention strategy;
  •   Up to an additional $11 million in funding to support school boards that do not have sufficient reserves to promote equitable school re-opening plans province wide; and
  •   Up to $496 million by allowing boards to unlock reserves and access up to two per cent of their operating budget from their reserve funds. This funding can be applied to local priorities of each board, based on the immediate needs on the ground to prepare for the start of school.

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