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Province announces $35M for more staff, to improve remote learning in Toronto-Peel-York

Last Updated Oct 5, 2020 at 3:57 pm EST

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, and Education Minister Stephen Lecce take a tour of Kensington Community School to see the measures implemented as students return to school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio

The Ford government says its committed to keeping its schools open as it announced over $30-million in funding designed to hire additional staff and improve remote learning in COVID-19 hotspots, such as Toronto, Peel and York Regions, and Ottawa.

Education Minister, Stephen Lecce, says the funding is part of the government’s robust and comprehensive $1.3 billion plan to safely reopen classrooms across the province.

“We have an obligation to our young people, to our society, to our working parents, to the mental health of our kids to keep them in school,” Lecce said on Monday.

“The reason why the Premier has made the announcement today, an additional $35 million targeting the highest risk communities of Toronto, York, Peel and Ottawa is because we seek to avoid that scenario. This investment is going to help hire upwards of 400 new teachers, an additional 600 custodians. It could help procure more than 6,000 computers, he added.

Ontario’s top doctor, David Williams, says they will continue to monitor the data when it comes to schools across the province’s hotspots.

Meantime, Doug Ford says the additional $35 million is being provided to enhance the safety of students and staff and will be used for the following:

 

  • Providing increased distancing between students through the hiring of additional teachers, early childhood educators, and educational assistants.

 

  • 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.

 

Ontario is reporting 56 new COVID-19 cases across its schools – including 21 in the GTA.

There is now 240 active COVID-19 infections across GTA schools.

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