Today (Oct. 5), the Ontario government announced plans to allocate $35 million to support school boards in such hard-hit areas as Peel (Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon), Ottawa, Toronto and York Region.
The province says the funding will “enhance public health measures and protection strategies as they confront higher rates of transmission in their communities.”
“As we find ourselves at the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19, we know there are schools in hotspot areas that need extra supports to keep students and staff safe,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement.
“That’s why we’re immediately authorizing the release of this funding to reinforce existing investments to improve physical distancing and remote learning and hire more staff, so our kids and teachers stay safe and healthy.”
- 88 year old Brampton man reported missing
- Police looking for missing 38 year old man in Brampton
- Ontario reporting new high of over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases today
The province says the funding will be used for:
- Providing increased distancing between students through the hiring of additional teachers, early childhood educators, and educational assistants; and
- Providing increased remote learning supports, including the hiring of additional teachers, early childhood educators and educational assistants, as well as devices for students who have chosen to learn remotely.
“Our priority as we enter the flu season is to ensure our schools take every preventative measure possible to ensure students and staff remain safe,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, in a statement.
“We are delivering this additional funding ― targeting those communities with higher rates of transmission ― to ensure we prevent the spread and maximize the safety of Ontario families.”
Earlier this summer, the province said it was dedicating $1.3 billion in resources to hire more teachers, support procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), enhance cleaning of schools and buses, improve ventilation, hire more custodians and more.
The province says it’s also providing funding to public health units to support the hiring of 625 school-focused nurses.
The province says the $35 million investment is part of the $50 million set aside to respond to emerging challenges during the return to school.