- The payments were not previously planned for in the 2022 budget and were first mentioned in the government’s throne speech on Tuesday afternoon.
This year, the Ontario government may provide direct payments to some parents again.
The payments were 1st mentioned in the government’s throne speech on Tuesday afternoon and were not previously included in the 2022 budget.
Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell stated in the legislature that the budget would include an additional $225 million over 2 years in direct payments to parents “to assist their kids in catching up” when it is reintroduced.
In addition to the more than $26.6 billion the province is investing in public education, the largest ever in Ontario’s history, she added that this financing would put money directly into parents’ pockets.
The Ministry of Finance confirmed to CTV News Toronto that this financing was a new addition to the budget and that details were still being worked out, such as whether payments would be made to all parents equally or to specific groups of parents.
In the upcoming days, details about eligibility and how much money parents should budget are anticipated.
According to Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, the funds will “cover gaps in learning for children after two years of pandemic disruptions.”
“We’ll have more information on how we plan to implement that initiative. But I’ll tell you this: we’ll listen to parents and many other people to find out how we can best provide the proper financing to support parents.
The financing is less than what was envisioned in the 2021 budget when the Ford administration set up $980 million to help parents afford the costs associated with online learning.
Parents at the time received $400 for each child, from birth to grade 12. $500 was given to parents of special needs kids under the age of 21.
The fourth payment to parents since Premier Doug Ford took office in 2018 will be this one. The Support For Learners program was implemented when the pandemic started for the other two occasions.
Parents got $200 per child or $250 for children with exceptional needs under the program. The estimated price tag for the Forde administration was $868 million.
This round of financing, if the same parents qualify, may amount to around $90 to $100 per child.
When questioned about why the $225 million wasn’t going to school boards, Bethlenfalvy changed the subject to the enormous sums of money the government already spends on education, tutoring, and mental health services for pupils enrolled in the public school system.
In a statement, the union representing education employees, who are currently in contract discussions, said they have been advocating for higher school investments.
According to CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn, “meanwhile, this throne speech announced $225 million that would go to parents who are perplexingly supposed to now locate private tutors to help their kids catch up.”
“Ontarians deserve better than this pre-election budget that has been reused.”
Source: CTV News