Yesterday, the Ministry of Education released the Grants for Student Needs (GSN) as well as a reopening plan for schools in September. This upcoming year’s GSN formula has shown a comprehensive focus on the needs of the 2 million students across Ontario.

With over one billion dollars being added to the education budget, students are supported not only through this complex reopening process, but school boards across the province can better support all students, especially those belonging to marginalized communities. Culturally-relevant pedagogical programming is key to ensuring all students feel reflected in the materials they study.

We also recognize and appreciate the flexibility outlined in funding to allow boards to focus on what their communities need most. It is also important to see the government moving essential school services, such as mental health workers and northern supports into the GSN.

The work does not stop here. While these grants provide unprecedented supports to school boards and the students, we look forward to seeing increased ongoing consultation with key stakeholders across the province while we work through the upcoming school year. During this pandemic, it is difficult to predict what these communities may require to reopen and have effective supports. The key to success in these action plans is meaningful consultation with students, educators, school boards, and all other stakeholders in the education system.

We’d like to also thank the Ministry of Education, and all education staff, trustees, and teachers for their incredible work during these times of uncertainty. Extra work has been picked up by all members of the education system and the effort put in by staff does not go unnoticed. On behalf of Ontario’s 2 million students, thank you for the work you do.

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Cameron Prosic

Public Affairs Coordinator, Acting Spokesperson

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