QUEEN’S PARK — Marit Stiles, Ontario NDP Education critic, released the following statement in response to the government announcement that schools will remain closed through the end of June:
“Schools should remain closed until it’s absolutely safe for kids to return, so we support the move to keep kids at home for the rest of the school year. But parents are now being called back to work while schools and child care centres remain closed. That’s a major gap that will leave households all over the province with no options for child care, and the government needs to step up with a plan and tangible supports for those parents.
We also recognize that parents, students and educators are doing their best to keep up learning from home, but the government hasn’t provided additional supports to help them get through this. From learn-at-home supplies to supports for students with special needs, the government can do better to help students, teachers and families through this.
The plan for an eventual return to classrooms must be based on the advice of public health officials and developed in partnership with frontline education workers, school boards, parents and students. And the plan must come with a commitment to fund additional resources, including support staff, caretakers and other education workers to support teachers, students and parents.”