Ford government announces $200 million to help schools reopen

There is $200 million being put towards special education programs and mental health, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta

The Ford government has announced financial aid to assist schools in managing coronavirus, reports CTV News.

There is $200 million being put towards special education programs and mental health, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Lecce added that the Support for Students fund is going to be used for the 2020/21 school year and some of the funds will be used for technology.

The education minister said that there will soon be a plan released regarding the resumption of classes in the fall and details on how the school year would play out, adding that safety is the priority.

"We're going to ensure that our school boards are planning for all potential scenarios in the fall," Lecce noted.

"What we have learned over the past months is we have to be ready for in-class instruction, for online instruction, and some sort of adaptive instruction when it comes to schools, and so, we're going to be requesting our boards to come up with plans to respond to all the circumstances that can arise in the fall."

There were 40 recommendations submitted to the province by The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) to ensure the safety, health and "quality of learning."

"This spring, the disparity in accessing learning resources has deepened inequities and had an impact on student learning outcomes," noted ETFO President Sam Hammond.

"That's going to carry over to the 2020-21 school year. There's going to be a longer than normal transition period at the beginning of the year."

Recommendations were released by SickKids Hospital officials that schools put emphasis on masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene.

"The challenges as schools prepare to reopen will vary from one community to the next. We're recommending that the Ministry provide broad guidelines and principles so that school boards, in consultation with local unions, can create plans that fit their local circumstances," said Hammond.

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Sam Edwards
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