Premier says $550 million will be spent this year to build new schools and renovate existing schools across the province
Ontario will invest over half a million dollars to build new schools and renovate existing ones, Premier Doug Ford announced Tuesday.
Ford made the announcement with Minister of Education Stephen Lecce at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in North York, one of the eight schools that will be renovated.
“As I’ve said before, if we want to invest in our future we have to invest in our young people, and today we’re doing just that,” said Ford.
The investment, which is worth $550 million, will go towards building 20 new schools and renovating eight existing schools across the province. This investment is part of the $12 billion in funding to build and modernize schools over the next decade that was announced over the summer.
The construction and renovations are set to add nearly 16,000 new spaces for students, teachers and staff. It will also add 870 child-care spots.
“We need to make sure families and students not only have access to more spaces in schools, but also have access to better schools with modern facilities, the best possible learning environments where kids can reach their full potential,” said Ford.
Ford has received significant pushback from parent groups and education advocates who say Ontario’s back-to-school plan lacked sufficient funding to reduce class sizes and hire more staff.
Last weekend, two cohorts at a Scarborough high school were instructed to self-isolate at home in light of one teacher and three students testing positive for COVID-19.
The outbreak is one of many to occur in schools across the province, with a total of 1,429 school-related COVID-19 cases reported to date and over 10 per cent of schools in Ontario having reported at least one case.