Many Ontario teachers believe additional funding is needed to ensure schools reopen safely
Many education workers believe if schools are to reopen safely, more funding from the Province is imperative.
A recent survey of over 1,000 education workers from 76 school boards across Ontario found a significant number are concerned about the safety of students, staff, and their families if the Province does not significantly increase the funding for school reopenings.
“For the two million students, two hundred thousand staff, and their families and communities, the reality of school reopening is becoming an incredibly stressful issue. People are afraid to go to school, afraid that they will get sick and die,” Laura McCoy, an elementary school teacher in Ontario, said in a news release.
“Yet the government has committed just seven cents per student, per day, in additional COVID funding. This is unconscionable. Our students deserve better," McCoy continued.
According to the findings, 98 per cent of respondents were concerned about a lack of funding for cleaning staff, while 97 per cent are concerned about overcrowded classrooms.
Additionally, 46 per cent are concerned about a lack of adequate ventilation, 38 per cent are concerned about a lack of functioning windows, and 28 per cent are concerned about access to sufficient washroom facilities.
“The government seems to have a clear plan for opening up bars,” Melanie Willson, a secondary school teacher and parent in Ontario said in the same release.
“But students have been out of the classroom for four months, and it does not seem to have a clear plan for our school system, nor any interest in responsibly funding the health and safety of our children," Willson continued.
Further, 98 per cent of teachers surveyed said they are concerned a lack of paid sick days will force parents to send their sick children to school due to a lack of available childcare options.
“Without providing proper paid sick leave for parents, the Government is putting working families of this province in an impossible situation,” Jason Kunin, a secondary school teacher in Ontario said in the release.
“How can you socially isolate your child for fourteen days when you don’t have proper sick leave provisions? While everyone wants to get back to school, it is the government’s job to put resources and policies in place to make a safe return possible," Kunin continued.
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