OSTA-AECO is concerned about the recent announcement made by the Ministry of Education with respect to the use of school boards’ reserve funds to accommodate for the additional costs of reopening schools in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reliance on reserve funds—which differ between school boards—will reinforce inequities within our education system. It is crucial to prioritize student safety throughout the province in elementary and secondary schools this fall, thus making it imperative that the government provides adequate funding to school boards to protect Ontario’s students.
We recognize that the Ministry’s allocation of $50 million to support improved ventilation and air quality effectiveness in schools is a positive step in the right direction. This can ensure student safety despite the challenges associated with implementing these additional supports within a few short weeks prior to students’ return to school.
OSTA-AECO urges the Ministry of Education to continue with student consultations during these unprecedented times and to have student supports, safety, and well-being remain a top priority during the transition back to school re-entry in September.
OSTA-AECO is a nonprofit organization comprised entirely of current and former student trustees who volunteer on a part-time basis to advocate for the improvement of public education in the province of Ontario.
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