Students, education workers, and families deserve well-resourced and safe classrooms. Despite the need for smaller classrooms, support for educators, safer classrooms, necessary repairs in our public schools - the Ford government continued to make millions of dollars worth of cuts to our education system.
When COVID-19 hit our schools, the government failed to not only protect students and staff, they also failed to have a proper plan that ensured disruption-free learning throughout the pandemic. Families in Scarborough Southwest are burnt out, students are struggling with their well being, and education workers are having to put their health at risk. Our community cannot afford four more years of neglect, endless cuts, and ineffective leadership that leaves our communities behind.
Ontario deserves a government that takes bold and decisive action to invest in our schools and ensure a brighter future for our province. Over the past four years, Doly has been an avid advocate for students, teachers, and families in Scarborough Southwest. She has called for:
- Smaller, safer class sizes with more caring staff from ECEs to custodians to teachers.
- Improved ventilation with clear standards, classroom inspections and public reporting
- Mental health supports and curriculum adjustments to help students recover emotionally and academically
- More in-school supports for students with disabilities
- Paid sick days and family care days for everyone, including parents so they can keep sick kids at home, and all education workers
- A proactive strategy to reach out to families to get students vaccinated, with mandatory vaccination requirements for education workers.
- A robust plan to get 5-11 year olds the protection of a vaccine as soon as it is available
- Adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the existing required vaccines list for students.
Doly knows that making our schools pandemic-proof also means tackling the 16.8 billion dollar school repair backlog left behind by the former governments over the past two decades and was allowed to grow under the current government. One time funding for upgrades must be backed up by a long-term plan to fix and maintain our school infrastructure. This is why, Doly and the Ontario NDP will:
- Ensure smaller class sizes to meet the needs of all students. We’ll cap classes for Grades 4 through 8 and reduce high school class sizes.
- Hire 20,000 teachers and education workers, additional mental health and child and youth workers and invest in school remedial learning programs.
- Commit to tackling the $16 billion infrastructure deficit built up by previous governments.
- Fix the rules around education development charges so that all school boards, including the TDSB, can collect EDCs and have the flexibility to use them to build and repair schools.
- Remove mandatory e-learning courses and support the elimination of the wasteful EQAO
- Oppose any plans to privatize our education system