Andrea Horwath and Ontario’s NDP will clear the school repair backlog within 10 years.
“Every child deserves a school where the windows open, fountains are safe to drink from and the heating and air conditioning work,” said Horwath.
“Right now, thousands of schools in Ontario are broken down. Kids are wearing coats and mittens in class in January, and sweating in stuffy classrooms in June. Many schools have lead in the drinking fountains, and teachers and education workers are putting buckets on the floor under dripping ceilings. Instead of asking our kids to deal with the consequences of cuts and underfunding, let’s fix their schools.”
The NDP will spend an additional $4.8 billion in the next three years alone to clear the backlog. And Horwath has committed to better caring for schools by investing:
- $467 million over three years to hire one extra custodian for each school in Ontario
- $13 million every year to hire more maintenance workers and establish a province-wide standard for cleaning and school repairs
The Liberals allowed Ontario’s school repair backlog to reach a whopping $15.8 billion.
The Ford Conservatives cut, so the backlog grew to $16.8 billion after just four years in government.
The NDP platform includes additional investments to cap class sizes, hire 20,000 teachers and education workers, double the Mental Health and Well Being Grant, and to begin a comprehensive public review of the school funding formula.
The NDP Platform includes commitments to:
- Clear the school repair backlog: The NDP will immediately address the backlog, with a plan to clear it within 10 years.
- Hire more custodians and maintenance staff and establish a province-wide standard for cleaning and school repairs. ($142 million in 2022-23, $218 million in 2023-24, and $297 million in 2024-25).
- Hire 20,000 Teachers and Education workers and invest in in-school remedial learning programs to help students recover after two years of learning disruptions.
- Help students by capping class sizes: The NDP will cap classes for Grades 4 through 8 at 24, and reduce high school class sizes to ensure students at every age get the direct support and attention they need.
- Support rural and Northern schools as their communities grow by doubling the Rural and Northern Education Fundto $22 million each year for the next three years.
- As part of our Green New Democratic Deal, the NDP will upgrade public school buildings to make them carbon neutraland climate resilient, ensuring they meet the current and future needs of their communities. We’ll bring those same principles to new school buildings to ensure they meet the international energy efficiency standards.
- The NDP will ensure that all schools have up-to-date ventilation systems to prevent the spread of infection during potential future waves of COVID-19.
- Fairness in Education Development Charges: the NDP will fix the rules around education development charges so they can fund the new schools families need.
- Review and Repair the funding formula: The NDP will work with parents, front-line educators, students, and educational experts to overhaul the education funding formula, starting with a comprehensive public review to be completed within one year.