Ontario investing $35 million to support schools in COVID hotspot areas

Premier Doug Ford during today's press conference at Queen's Park. Premier Doug Ford announces investment in school boards in COVID hotspots during today's press conference at Queen's Park.

Ontario government officials said today the province will invest $35 million to hire more staff and improve remote learning at school boards in COVID-19 hotspots.

The funding will be used in Peel, Ottawa, Toronto, and York Region, which are areas in the province that are experiencing significant community spread of COVID-19.

“We know there are certain areas of the province that are seeing higher community spread. The schools in those places need some extra support,” said Ford at Queen’s Park in Toronto today.

The funding will be used to increase physical distancing between students by hiring more teachers, early childhood educators, and educational assistants.

It will also help fund remote learning support by hiring more education staff and providing devices for students who have chosen to learn remotely.

“Our priority as we enter the flu season is to ensure our schools take every preventative measure possible to ensure students and staff remain safe,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

The investment adds to the $1.3 billion plan to safely reopen classrooms released in July. So far, the funding has allowed schools to hire additional teachers, custodians, nurses, and staff; increase physical distancing in schools; acquire necessary PPE; enhance cleaning services, support online learning; and more.

The government has also released a voluntary interactive screening tool to help individuals decided they or their children should attend a school or child care.

Learn more:

Original announcement
Press conference video
Ontario releases revised screening tool for school and child care