Ontario is making a significant investment to nearly double the number of guidance teachers for Grade 7 and 8 students, and help better prepare kids for the transition to high school and the fast-changing world beyond.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was with Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, MPP Ottawa-Orléans at École secondaire publique Louis-Riel, in Ottawa today, to announce an investment of more than $120 million over the next three years that will add more than 450 new guidance teachers across the province.
For Grade 7 and 8 students, this means additional support as they prepare to transition to high school, as well as early exposure to positive role models and diverse career options, as they explore continuing their education through apprenticeships, college, university and in the workplace.
In total, Ontario will add 2,000 new education workers with Budget 2018, which include:
· Educational assistants (EAs) to support students with exceptionally high needs
· Specialists, including social workers, psychologists, behavioural specialists and speech language pathologists to support boards in expanding special education programs and services — ultimately benefitting all students
· Up to 400 new mental health workers at Ontario"s secondary schools, to ensure every high school student will have access to mental health supports at school.
This builds on the government"s historic investments in Ontario"s publicly funded education system, which have put more teachers in classrooms since 2013, capped or reduced class sizes, and completed the roll-out of full-day kindergarten, making it available to every four- and five-year-old in the province.
Putting more education workers and supports in our schools is part of the government"s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free licensed preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten