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Parents, trapped: Lack of child care could undermine economic recovery and hurt women, but the solution is expensive

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

In normal times, daycare is much like a throttle for the engine of the economy. Increase the supply of spaces, and more women are able to work. Productivity rises, household incomes grow and consumer spending ticks up.
But the coronavirus threatens to throw that dynamic into reverse. A mass exodus of women from the work force would be unprecedented in recent decades… an enormous chunk of economic activity is at risk

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Canadian high school students among top performers in reading, according to new international ranking

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

… we are in the … position where we can focus on the small improvements that will impact the struggling students, rather than having to focus on the majority of these students not even having basic literacy skills… Among the 79 countries that participated, five outperformed Canada in science. Meanwhile, nine outperformed Canada in math… governments and teacher-training programs have started focusing on the math skills of educators.

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Tribunal dismisses case of Grayson Kahn, boy with autism expelled from Guelph, Ont., school

Monday, September 9th, 2019

“… parents do not have the right to dictate the accommodations which their children will be provided with to access education… While parents have the right to provide input as part of the accommodation process – which Ms. Kahn did in this case – they must accept reasonable accommodations offered by the school board…

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Ontario government apologizes for autism program changes; needs-based model won’t launch until next April

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, acknowledged for the first time on Monday that changes to the autism program announced earlier this year were poorly conceived. “It’s clear to me that we didn’t get the redesign right the first time. I’m here to tell you we will now”… He added: “We are certainly sorry for the anxiety this has caused parents across Ontario.”

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Ford government to cut more than 3,400 Ontario teaching jobs over four years

Friday, April 5th, 2019

… for an estimated annual saving of $292-million by the fourth year… The job cuts would work out to an average of less than one teaching position for each of the province’s almost 5,000 publicly funded elementary and secondary schools… The teachers unions have objected to the plans for increased class sizes and mandated online courses for high schools – changes that prompted thousands of students to walk out Thursday.

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Ontario teachers’ union says increased class sizes could result in thousands of lost jobs, vows to fight the changes

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Ms. Thompson has said that the increases in high-school class sizes would bring them in line with class sizes in other jurisdictions… She has also said earlier this week that increases in high-school class sizes will help students become more resilient, and better prepare them for university and work… Those comments were criticized by educators, who say she provided no evidence to back up her claim.

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Ontario to look into school exclusions of children with autism

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

… families with children in many parts of the country who have intellectual and developmental disabilities are increasingly being asked to pick up children early, start their school day later or keep them home for an indefinite period because of behavioural issues… the Ontario Autism Coalition, which advocates for families, have been calling on the government to hold public discussions on possible legislation and policy changes surrounding exclusions of special-needs students with behavioural issues.

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Ontario government announces new supports for schools ahead of change to autism program

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

… the government will subsidize an additional qualification course for teachers on supporting students with autism, but that won’t happen until the fall. Additionally, Ms. Thompson said she is asking school boards to dedicate a professional activity day for teachers on how to support children with autism… Many of these children currently attend school on a modified schedule, and parents have said cuts in funding will leave them with little choice but to send their children to school more frequently, even full-time… “All that this [announcement] does is it dumps the responsibility for autism therapy onto the schools. Teachers are not therapists.”

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Ontario government’s lawyer says teachers can use own judgment in sex-ed lessons

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

ETFO president Sam Hammond said he was surprised to hear the government’s position on using the 2015 curriculum as a resource… He said that if the government had told teachers that they were free to use their professional judgment and the 2015 curriculum as a resource in implementing the current curriculum, “we wouldn’t be here today, quite frankly.” Instead, Mr. Hammond said the government chose to publicly threaten teachers.

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Advocates for students with disabilities call on Ontario to stop school exclusions

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Autism advocates in Ontario are calling on the province to remove a principal’s power to exclude students from school for an indefinite period, saying it is being misused as a disciplinary measure that disproportionately targets children with special needs… families with children who have intellectual and developmental disabilities are increasingly being asked to pick up kids early, start the school day later or simply keep them home for days.

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