Still not good enough: Elementary teachers' union disappointed by Thursday announcement
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Mario Spagnuolo, president of the Greater Essex Elemetary Teachers' Federation say they expected more out of Minister of Education Stephen Lecce’s addition to their reopening, announced Thursday in Toronto.
“He was up to bat, I was expecting a home run and he didn’t get to first base,” says Spagnuolo.
He believes parents, teachers and students were expecting something about capping class sizes but that wasn’t mentioned.
Rather, the province is now “unlocking” up to $500 million in reserve funds so school boards can use other places like libraries or community centres, when physical distancing isn’t possible in schools.
“I think the government is playing shell games, that money is actually school board's money, its not their money, and they’re making school boards now take the hit, and it’s completely inappropriate because this a provincial plan and it needs to be funded by the provincial government.”
ETFO says the government has waited too long to develop a safe plan for reopening on Sept. 8.
Late Friday, the Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board released a statement.
The Director of Education, Terry Lyons, says the’yre going to have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to use these reserve funds to move students around.
Lyons points out that over the last decade the ministry forced boards to eliminate empty student spaces across the province.
As a result, he says many elementary schools currently do not have the extra unused classrooms to reduce class sizes and Lyons says moving students out of the school poses serious liability and security concerns.
They say they will be putting the changes to their back-to-school plan online no later than Wednesday.