TORONTO, ON – Steven Del Duca, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, today unveiled his Students in Schools Action Plan – and called for the immediate action to hire hundreds of educators and create hundreds of new classrooms in order to protect full day school.
“Doug Ford has announced that when students go back to school, they’ll likely be alternating between in-class and online learning – this idea simply will not work – it’s clear he has not thought about the consequences,” said Steven Del Duca.
“You can’t bring people back to work or open the economy without first opening up schools. Reopening the economy without full day school in September puts families in impossible situations. They are having to choose between their children’s education and their work. We have heard too many stories of parents – working mothers in particular – who have had to give up their careers due to lack of childcare and daycare.”
“The only way to reopen the economy is to provide parents with the support they need to re-enter the workplace. We need to ensure schools are a safe place to learn and a safe place to work. That’s why I’m calling for the number of classrooms and educators to be dramatically expanded.”
Del Duca’s Students in Schools Action Plan proposes a number of actions to protect student and families:
- Create hundreds of new classrooms by tapping into unused spaces: community centres, government agencies and office buildings, convention halls, and more.
- Create an education command table that would include parents’ associations, school boards, teachers’ federations and others.
- Hire back and train up recently unemployed or underemployed teachers and Early Childhood Educators to staff those new classrooms.
- Set standards across Ontario.
- Ensure proper support so racialized and marginalized communities can excel.
- Facilitate assistance for students with disabilities.
- Create new financial support for parents with children that cannot reenter the classroom for medical reasons.
- Keep parents informed with regular updates.
“The choice is between students in schools or the chaos that Doug Ford’s hybrid approach will create. We cannot afford to count pennies and shortchange students. We must be bold to get students back into classes so that parents can re-enter the economy,” concluded Del Duca.