Ontario changes education system to break down barriers
July 11, 2020
Global Korean Post
The Ontario government is taking the first step in a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery.
On July 8, the province introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, proposed legislation that lays the foundation to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create opportunity for people in every region of the province.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has touched all Ontarians and created significant hardship for individuals, families and businesses,” said Premier Ford. “People are relying on our government to help rebuild the province and get people back to work ― and that’s exactly what we’re doing, starting with this new legislation.”
The Ontario government announced bold new changes to the education system that will help break down barriers for Black, Indigenous and racialized students and provide all students with an equal opportunity to succeed.
Through Bill 197, COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020, the government is proposing to eliminate discretionary suspensions for students from kindergarten up to Grade 3, beginning September 2020. Serious offences will still be subject to mandatory suspensions. The latest suspension data from 2018-19 shows that over 65,000 elementary and secondary students in Ontario were suspended during that school year.
Starting in September 2021, the government will begin the process of ending Grade 9 streaming into applied and academic courses. Currently, students enrolled in applied-level courses have multiple negative outcomes and limited opportunities for post-secondary advancement.
In accordance with the Anti-Racism Act and Anti-Racism Data Standards, all school boards in Ontario will be required to collect race-based data by January 1, 2023.