Ontario English Catholic Teachers

OECTA Statement on the Ford Government’s Lack of Planning for Safe Schools

“The Ford government likes to present the false choice of school buildings being either open or closed. But what Catholic teachers and many other Ontarians have been calling for since March is a third option: a real plan that would prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools and allow students across the province to enjoy the benefits of in-person learning over the long run.

Teachers and education workers would be more than happy to help the government by offering our firsthand perspectives on how to implement effective health and safety protocols and maximize student learning. This is why we have called for the creation of an advisory table that involves the entire education community. With many schools already open for in-person learning for some or all students, and more schools now set to reopen next week, it is imperative that this happen immediately.

The government has had almost a year to come up with a plan. Instead, they have been lurching from last-minute decision to last-minute decision and hoping for the best, while relying on the federal government to put up the majority of any new education funding. Catholic teachers firmly believe that in-person learning is best for students, and we continue to join families, employers, and many other Ontarians in demanding that the Ford government do more to make it safe and sustainable for schools to be open.”

Liz Stuart, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association