Province proposes new bill to increase its control over school boards

The provincial government has proposed a new plan that would give it more control over Ontario school boards in an effort to improve student achievement and the training of education superintendents.

On Monday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce listed the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act.

If passed, the bill would implement new guidelines that would give the province greater power to ensure new teachers and educators are equipped with the skills needed to effectively teach students math, reading and literacy, as well as set training standards for education and education supervisors. big say. School Board Trustees.

Additionally, the ministry will require 72 school boards across the province to publicly report on progress on the province’s education priorities, strengthening rules around financial accountability and transparency of school board control programs.

Ontario has approximately 700 elected school trustees who make decisions for school boards, manage day-to-day school operations, student transportation, capital projects, and oversee the hiring of teachers, educators, and administrators.

The province acknowledges that while school board leadership is critical to keeping things running smoothly, it has also noted some inconsistencies and the need for more oversight.

“Our proposed legislation will center the education system on preparing students to succeed in life and work, bringing more high-quality educators into the classroom, while ensuring parents are always in the loop to support their children,” Lecce said in a statement. Information required.” Monday. “These reforms will ensure students graduate with a competitive edge, while learning a modern curriculum in a modern school, preparing them for the jobs of the future.”

For now, school boards are maintaining their own education priorities, which the province says has led to mixed results across the public education system, such as poor performance in EQAO data.

The Ministry of Education says it takes an average of five to 10 years to build a standard school in Ontario and more than 100 days to certify internationally educated teachers. The provincial government says it will work with the Ontario College of Teachers and the Faculty of Education to modernize teacher training and certification to reduce the time it takes to certify teachers.

The plan would also give the government a first say in school board sales of underutilized properties that could potentially be used to support other provincial priorities, such as affordable housing and long-term care space.

“Our mission is simple: to drive continuous improvement in Ontario’s education system so we can produce the brightest, most ambitious, skilled and entrepreneurial students in the country,” Lecce said. “We’re sending a signal across the province: We must — and we will — do better to ensure your children get a quality education that leads to well-paying jobs, home ownership and a life rich in opportunity.”

Over the weekend, the Department of Education announced a $180 million investment in new literacy programs and numeracy support, including 1,000 additional teaching and education positions, aimed at supporting students who continue to address post-pandemic learning challenges.

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