The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act was introduced by the Ontario government on April 17, 2023. If passed, it would ensure that the province’s public education system focuses on what matters most: essential life skills, such as reading, writing, and math. Parents and families would also be held accountable and informed by the law.
“We are making a move to pull together Ontario’s school system on the main thing: enhancing reading, writing, and math skills,” Minister of Education Stephen Lecce stated. By putting more highly qualified teachers in the classroom and ensuring that parents have access to the information they require to support their children, the legislation we propose would focus the education system on preparing students for success in life and work. As a result of these changes, students would be better prepared for the jobs of the future and graduate from school with a competitive advantage.
The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act would assist families and students by:
- Improving accountability and transparency by allowing the Minister of Education to set priorities in important areas on student achievement, like reading and math, and requiring school boards to update parents on progress
- Requiring school boards to publicly post a multi-year Board Improvement Plan that reflects the minister’s priorities for student achievement, creating authority to deploy personnel to support school boards when needed, along with greater oversight over provincially funded tax dollars
- Ensuring new teachers and educators have the skills they need to teach students effectively in math, reading and literacy
- Directing school boards to increase engagement and reporting to parents on student achievement and ensuring parents have easy access to the information they need to meaningfully engage with their children’s education and success
- Building schools faster and implementing measures to utilize current school spaces, ensuring Ontario is getting more classrooms into communities who need them
- Strengthening the requirement for school boards to have a code of conduct for boards of trustees, creating a neutral dispute resolution process and authority to standardize and mandate training requirements for school board leadership
- Building on our progress to establish a leading system of student safety and educator oversight, furthering measures to expedite disciplinary decisions for educators convicted of a criminal offense
- Expanding eligibility for therapy counselling for student victims of sexual abuse through the Ontario College of Teachers
- Providing for more consistent approaches to student learning and well-being, including on student mental health
- Improving processes at the Ontario College of Teachers and College of Early Childhood Educators to enable them to operate more efficiently, including more consistent disciplinary processes.
Currently, school boards determine their own education priorities, which results in systemic differences. In the EQAO data, for instance, some schools consistently exhibit underperformance, as evidenced by falling reading, writing, and math scores. In addition, it typically takes between five and ten years to construct a standard Ontario school, and certifying teachers with international education can take more than one hundred days.
The region will work with the Ontario School of Educators and Ontario’s resources of instruction to modernize educator preparing and confirmation cycles to address the issues of understudies in the study halls, including diminishing times to handle applications to guarantee instructors.
The overall education funding in Ontario will be at its highest level in history, supporting the hiring of nearly 2,000 front-line educators. This includes an increase of 2.7% in base funding for Grants for Student Needs (GSN) of $693 million over the previous year. The province’s students will be the primary focus of the government’s funding, which will build on the approximately 8,000 additional employees hired since 2018:
- Nearly 1,000 specialized math and literacy educators to boost skills
- Over 940 educators to support students from grades 7 to 10 with a seamless transition into high school and in de-streamed courses.
Additionally, Ontario’s students receive the highest amount of base funding per student in provincial history, at $13,125. This record-breaking investment will assist educators and school boards in equipping Ontario’s students with the necessary life skills. Ontario is investing in nearly 1,000 educators to assist students in de-streaming from ninth grade and prepare them for it.
“Our central goal is straightforward: drive ceaseless improvement to Ontario’s schooling system so we graduate the most splendid, most aggressive, talented and pioneering understudies in the nation,” said Clergyman Lecce. ” We are putting out a message to the province: We must and will do better to ensure that your children receive a high-quality education that prepares them for homeownership, a well-paying job, and a life of opportunity.