The Ontario Government Is Investing $180M In Education To Help Kids Get 'Back To Basics'

The government will hire 1000 new educators.

Stephen Lecce.

Stephen Lecce.

The Ontario government is investing a pretty penny into education to help children with their literacy and math skills.

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced in a press conference on April 16 that the government will be investing $180 million into revamping the education system to help students secure employment.

"We are getting back to the basics because that’s what matters most when it comes to students’ skills with reading, writing and math," said Lecce in a press release. “I am proud to unveil Ontario’s plan to boost literacy and math skills, designed to deliver better schools, jobs and outcomes for students."

The investment will support "nearly 1000 more educators" in schools, and the money will be divided between the math plan and reading plan for the 2023-2024 school year.

The new math plan will be getting more than $71 million, while $109 million of the investment will go toward boosting literacy rates.

What is the new math plan?

The province plans to improve math skills by increasing the number of educators and relying on the previously modernized math curriculum, which has financial literacy and coding in every grade.

According to a press release, the government plans to support more than 300 educators, double the number of math coaches and introduce a math lead for every board to help provide extra support, standardize training and manage the curriculum.

New teachers will also receive training, and the government will cover the cost of math qualification courses for them to improve their math skills.

Math Action Teams will also be sent out to schools and school boards to help raise student outcomes.

More tools will be provided online with digital math tools for parents and students, and virtual tutoring sessions run by teachers will continue to run online.

In the press conference, Lecce said the goal is to focus on the lower 20% of schools that are underperforming and uplift their standards through additional staff and support.

What is the plan to boost literacy rates?

Literacy efforts will go towards improving the reading skills of younger students, and early reading screenings will be set in place for the second year of kindergarten to grade two for students to make sure they are developing key skills.

This will be implemented alongside training for teachers and "a standardized and fully-funded screening tool."

The government plans on adding additional specialist teachers to work in small groups with students to improve their skills and support around 700 more educators.

The language curriculum will also be getting a makeover in September 2023, with a focus on young students being able to achieve basic literacy.

Brooke Houghton
Brooke Houghton is a contributing writer for Narcity Media based in Toronto, Ontario.