QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner issued the following statement about Ontario schools remaining closed until May:
“I think everyone understands and supports this decision because our shared priority as a province is to slow the spread of COVID-19.
I want to thank unions, school boards and the Ministry of Education for coming together to ensure that teacher-led learning will continue in some form through the pandemic.
I am grateful for Ontario teachers, who are changing their education plans on the fly. I urge the government to work in partnership with teachers at every step of this process to ensure the best outcomes for students.
It is unavoidable that many students will struggle under these new conditions, and the government must use education funds to address equity issues.
I worry about children with special needs, ESL students, and children from low-income households who depend so much on in-class learning and support. We must ensure this temporary solution does not worsen the divide between privileged and vulnerable students.
I urge school boards to be in close contact with disadvantaged families. And I urge the province to help families with technology access and other special supports so that no student falls through the cracks.”