The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is now in session.
This legislation was introduced on October 20, 2021, by Bhutila Karpoche, the NDP Early Learning and Childcare Critic. If passed, the Act would create the Early Years and Child Care Worker Advisory Commission, which would develop “recommendations on how to support the early years and child care workforce and address staffing shortages, including through increased wages and improved working conditions.”
Status: First Reading
The legislation was introduced on October 7, 2021, by Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. It includes 25 Schedules or proposed changes to various Acts, including Schedule 8 Education Act. “The Education Act is amended to remove references to ranked ballot elections, change when boards must elect their chairs and when the chief executive officer of a board must submit a report to the Minister, and eliminate certain requirements relating to the appointment of supervisory officers.” There is also a regulatory proposal posted regarding the change for Supervisory Officers – “The legislative changes would remove the requirement for school boards to seek confirmation from the Minister of Education that a person is eligible to be appointed as a supervisory officer, and the requirement for a supervisory officer to seek approval from the Minister of Education to hold any additional office, have any other employment or follow any other profession or calling during their tenure.” OPSBA staff have reviewed the draft legislation and regulatory proposal and will send in a brief response.
Status: First Reading
The legislation was introduced by Liberal house leader John Fraser on October 7, 2021. The Act would compel specified education sector organizations and healthcare sector organizations to require their employees and contractors to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.
Status: Second Reading – Defeated
2022-23 Grants For Student Needs
The Ministry of Education has released information about their engagement process regarding next year’s GSN. The 2022-23 Education Funding Guide focuses on Mental Health Supports, Reducing Administrative Burden and Red Tape, the Learning Opportunities Grant (LOG), Urban and Priority High Schools, and the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP). Submissions are due November 26, 2021.
OPSBA will begin to gather feedback from its members about education funding beginning with regional meetings in early November. This will be followed by a discussion with both the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams. Additional information will be sought from the Indigenous Trustees’ Council, senior business officials, and from member board correspondence that included funding requests. OPSBA will also send a short survey to all trustees seeking their feedback.
COVID-19 Update / Return to School Fall 2021
As of the morning of October 22, 1,090 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in publicly funded schools in the past 14 days. This compares to 1,282 last Friday and 1,493 the week before that. Of those 1,090 cases, 981 are students, 106 are staff, and three are not identified. Two of the 4,844 schools in the province are currently closed.
On October 22, Premier Doug Ford and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced the schedule for further re-opening measures. Details can be found in the news release, Ontario Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term.
Local Government Week (LGW) – Summary
Local Government Week was celebrated across Ontario from October 18 to 22, with OPSBA, member boards, trustees, municipalities, The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister Stephen Lecce and opposition MPPs participating in the week, which aims to increase youth and public awareness about the role of local government in our communities. Our President Cathy Abraham and our five Regional Chairs recorded videos earlier this month, which you can find on our YouTube channel and all of our social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook). In addition, we provided trustees and school boards with resources to facilitate virtual sessions with students and support website and social media content.
Many thanks are due to all of our member boards who supported this year’s Local Government Week initiative, as we know that local democratically elected trustees make a significant contribution to the achievement of all students through their continued leadership, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check out the #LocalGovWeek hashtag on Twitter
Trustee Code of Conduct Consultations 2021
OPSBA participated in a virtual stakeholder meeting with the Ministry of Education regarding this current consultation. The first part of the session included all trustee/school board associations and then individual associations had separate discussions with ministry staff. Representing OPSBA were: President Cathy Abraham, OPSBA Indigenous Trustees’ Council Chair Elaine Johnston, Vice-President Enrolment David Green, OPSBA Executive Director Rusty Hick and Director of Policy, Jennifer McIntyre. OPSBA is on track to submit responses to both the consultation’s online public survey and regulatory posting. The deadline for feedback is November 1, 2021 and we are encouraging all trustees to participate.
Other News Releases and Information
- October 22, 2021: Memo SB25, 2020-21 Financial Statements Forms for Section 68 School Authorities
- October 22, 2021: Memo SB24, 2021-22 Revised Estimates (District School Boards)
- October 22, 2021 News Release: Ontario Investing in After School Programs
- October 21, 2021 News Release: Ontario Announces Municipalities’ 2022 Funding Under the $500 Million Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund
- October 20, 2021 News Release: Minister of Finance to Release 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review on November 4
- October 19, 2021 News Release: Free Flu Shot Available to all Ontarians in November
- October 18, 2021 Memo SB23, School Level Data Verification for 2021-22 Financial Statements and 2022-2023 Estimates/Revised Estimates and Updates on SFIS Business Rules and Procedures