VAUGHAN – Steven Del Duca was at St. Stephen’s Catholic Elementary School to announce that an Ontario Liberal government will cut class sizes province-wide, capping them at 20 students for every grade. Because capping class sizes will require more educators, Ontario Liberals will hire 10,000 teachers – ensuring every student gets the focus and attention they deserve.
“As a dad of two young girls, I know how hard the pandemic has been on students,” said Del Duca. “Two years of disruption and online learning from Doug Ford Conservatives have made students’ lives more stressful and put their learning in jeopardy. Kids deserve a government that’s in their corner. Ontario Liberals are offering people a choice. Under the Ford Conservatives, you’ll get crowded classes and cuts to education. With the Ontario Liberal plan, we will end mandatory online learning, hire more teachers to teach smaller classes.”
As our kids try to catch up on learning lost during the pandemic, they need their teachers more than ever – but the Ford Conservatives’ budget slashed $1.3 billion in much-needed funding for schools and doubled down on disastrous mandatory online learning. Ontario Liberals will reverse Doug Ford’s cuts to public education, putting a hard class size cap of 20 students in every grade, and will put an end to the Ford Conservative plan to impose mandatory online learning on students.
“We need to give teachers the tools not just to teach, but actually reach their students. They cannot do that over a computer screen. Small class sizes and in-class learning will allow them to do just that, Del Duca added.
To reach our goal of hiring 10,000 more teachers, we’ll recruit teachers from other provinces, help qualified teachers immigrate to Ontario, and attract some of the 80,000 Ontario certified teachers not currently employed by schools back to teaching. The Ontario Liberal plan will also support teacher education programs – particularly for French-language educators.
The Ontario Liberal education plan will:
- Hire 10,000 teachers, including by recruiting from other provinces and helping qualified teachers immigrate to Ontario
- Impose a hard cap of 20 students on class sizes in every grade, province-wide
- Build 200 new schools across Ontario
- Repair, upgrade and rebuild more than 4,500 schools
- Remove the Conservative’s mandatory requirement for 2 online credits for graduation
- Put new technology and devices in classrooms to close the digital divide
- Reverse the Ford Conservatives’ budget cuts to after-hours community programs in schools.
“Ontario families just can’t afford more Ford Conservative cuts to public education,” continued Del Duca. “As one of the hundreds of thousands of parents watching their kids’ education disrupted by Doug Ford’s cuts, I will work tirelessly to ensure students and teachers have the support they need to succeed.”
On February 1, 2022, the Ford Conservatives confirmed in a memo to all school boards and principals that it was their policy that “students must successfully complete the equivalent of at least two full online credits to fulfil the graduation requirement.”