August 12th, 2020

London MPPs call for smaller, safer classes ahead of return to school

LONDON — With the start of the school year looming, London NDP MPPs Peggy Sattler, Terence Kernaghan and Teresa Armstrong are calling on Doug Ford to ditch his risky scheme before it’s too late, and replace it with smaller, safer classes.
Families with children in the Thames Valley District School Board have less than one week to select either at-home or in-school learning for the fall.

“By keeping class sizes large, Doug Ford is forcing families in London to make an impossible choice,” said Sattler, MPP for London West. “Many parents can’t afford to take more time off work to stay home with their kids, but are legitimately worried about sending their kids back into crowded classrooms.”

Parents, teachers, education workers, and public health authorities have all called for smaller, safer classes in September.

“Instead of putting children and families first, Ford is risking the school year because he wants to save money on the backs of kids with his ill-conceived bargain basement class scheme,” said Kernaghan, MPP for London North Centre.

“While Doug Ford has left parents and teachers worried about what’s going to happen in September, when the Liberals were in government, they closed hundreds of schools, forcing more kids into fewer classrooms, and paving the way for the crowded conditions that Ford is refusing to fix today.”

“Parents want to send their kids back to school safely, but the Ford government is refusing to fund smaller class sizes — and that makes it literally impossible for kids, teachers and education workers to physically distance in the classroom,” said Armstrong, MPP for London-Fanshawe.

The London NDP MPPs and New Democrats are calling for increased staff in schools, temporary classroom spaces, and ensuring every classroom has good ventilation.