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Doug Ford Just Released His Fall Economic Update. He Quietly Cut Half A Billion Dollars From Ontario Schools.

Doug Ford’s 2021 fall fiscal review offers even less for schools than his 2021 budget released this spring

Doug Ford’s Fall Fiscal Review cut roughly $500 million from the education funds promised in his 2021 Budget released earlier this year.

In Ontario’s March 24 provincial budget, the Ford government committed to spending $31.3 billion on schools for the year 2021-22.

But in Ford’s Fall Fiscal Review, released November 4, that funding commitment was down to $30.8 billion.

In other words, that’s a cut of $500 million.

The March budget also promised to spend $31.4 billion in 2022-23. But the statement only commits to $31.3 billion, another cut of $100 million.

Additionally, the school infrastructure line items in the statement will see spending fall from $3.295 billion in 2021-22 to $2.773 billion next year.

PressProgress previously reported the Ford government cut over $100 million from funds allocated to protect students from COVID-19, even after acknowledging in April that schools were “the sources of more outbreaks than workplaces or any other location.”

Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association President Barb Dobrowolski told PressProgress “With half a billion dollars missing from school funding, the Ford government’s fall economic statement makes clear once again that publicly funded education, safer schools, and student learning recovery are not this government’s priorities.”

This, Dobrowolski said, means “leaving students without the desperately needed resources to ensure safer schools and support a robust learning recovery.”

Other media reports have noted the province’s COVID-19 funds are to be “fully phased out” by 2023-24.

Back in February a Ministry of Education memo warned the reduction of temporary funds meant “school boards may issue more than the typical number of redundancy notices to its staff.”

Ontario’s Ministry of Education did not respond to requests for comment.

 

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