Investments in education ensure every Ontario student develops the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life and get ahead
A strong public education is the bedrock of a fair society. It gives our kids the skills and support they need to reach their full potential and succeed in the classroom and beyond.
In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Today, our elementary and secondary schools are recognized as among the best in the world. The Ontario Liberal government has implemented Full-Day Kindergarten and reduced class sizes. High school five-year graduation rates increased from 68 per cent in 2004 to 86.5 per cent in 2016.
We are increasing our emphasis on math skills, creating more experiential learning opportunities, helping kids build digital skills and focusing on inclusivity and physical and mental well-being.
We have also built or rebuilt one in six schools in the province, have invested in major repairs to more than 2,900 schools since 2011 and are supporting the use of school space for community hubs.
But we are hearing from people that we need to do more. Our curriculum, assessment and reporting practices must focus on the skills students need to succeed. Parents and teachers have told us that students with special education requirements need more in-school supports. Students need more help planning for the future.
That’s why the Ontario Liberals will modernize the system, improve special education programs and put more teachers and support staff in classrooms. Our plan will:
- Place new classroom emphasis on problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and collaboration
- Modernize student learning assessment by updating the tools available to teachers to assess student program in real time and by consulting with parents and the Education Quality and Accountability Office on improvements to large-scale assessment
- Dedicate one professional development day per year to math teaching and learning, create more math supports outside the school day and expand online math tutoring resources and homework help
- Explore curriculum links for the Edible Gardens Program, which creates experiential learning for students in agriculture, environmental sciences and healthy living
- Support heritage language education
- Enhance students’ access to arts education in dance, drama, music and the visual arts, including a $3 million investment to refurbish musical instruments
- Implement a revised curriculum in September 2018 for all students that reflects the contributions, cultures and perspectives of Indigenous peoples, including the role of treaties and the history of residential schools
- Add 2,000 new teachers and education workers, including more Education Assistants to support kids with exceptionally high needs and more specialists, including behavioural specialists and speech language pathologists
- Add 450 guidance teachers in elementary schools to help students transition to high school and start career planning
- Improve access to high-speed Internet at publicly funded schools, including connecting an additional 250,000 students at 850 schools by the end of 2018 and connecting all classrooms by 2021
- Develop an accessibility standard to address barriers that prevent students with disabilities from reaching their full potential
- Place mental health workers in all high schools to improve access to mental health supports
- Invest almost $16 billion over 10 years in new and improved schools
- Double funding to school boards for locally determined well-being programs, such as breakfast programs and bullying prevention
- Continue to expand opportunities for a delivery of 60 minutes of daily physical activity tied to the school day