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Letter: COVID-19 Funding for 2021-22

Monday, March 22, 2021
Categories: Board and Trustee Governance

March 19, 2021

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education
315 Front Street, 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 0B8

Minister Lecce,

On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, I am writing you to express our concerns that school boards will not receive any additional COVID-19 related funding from the Government of Ontario for the 2021-2022 school year. We are hoping that you will reconsider this decision so that school boards can better prepare for the year ahead.

You will agree that the health and safety of our students and staff remains the top priority as we continue to navigate our school communities through the current pandemic. While we are extremely hopeful that conditions will improve by September 2021, it's important that we are prepared to continue delivering high quality education to our students, protect all students and education workers from COVID-19 and support their mental health and well-being.

Therefore, we are asking for your government's commitment to fully fund all additional COVID-19 related resources that may be necessary to support health and safety, mental health and well-being and student learning for the 2021-22 school year. We urge you to include this commitment - along with our shared commitment to equity - as part of the GSN announcements to allow to us to plan for a safe and successful 2021/22 school year.

As a follow up to my letter dated January 26, 2021, I want to once again strongly advocate for your government to reimburse our reserve funds and other pandemic-related costs from the 2020-21 school year so that we can maintain our reserves and recover from budget pressures related to unfunded COVID-19 related costs. We would appreciate if this is also communicated as part of the 2021-22 GSN announcements.

This has been an extraordinary year with many challenges and opportunities. It's important that we learn from our experiences and prepare for the year ahead to ensure the health and safety of our school communities and the continuation of meaningful learning at the TDSB.

I appreciate your consideration and attention to these important matters. I am always available to continue this conversation at your earliest convenience.

Thank you,

alexander brown signature

Alexander Brown
Chair, Toronto District School Board