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Ontario’s Pandemic Learning Loss Catch-Up Funding is Unjust


July 26, 2022

OTTAWA, ON – Ontario is leaving out thousands of students from its $93 million increase in special education grant funding to help make up for pandemic learning loss. Children living with a disability who attend one of the province’s 1,500 independent schools won’t be able to access a dime of that funding, just as they’re blocked from accessing Ontario’s regular $3 billion in special education grants.

“It’s inexcusable to discriminate against students living with a disability,” says Brian Dijkema, Vice-President of External Affairs at think tank Cardus. “Ontario should be giving help to students living with a disability based on need, not on the school the child attends.”

Likewise, Ontario has left 150,000 students out of its tutoring support plan to help make up for pandemic learning loss. All of the $175 million tutoring funding has been directed to public school boards, ignoring the needs of students attending one of the province’s independent schools. Most of these schools are community-organized institutions with less than 150 students enrolled.

“Ontario’s education minister can’t claim to have a plan to help students catch up through extra tutoring if his plan ignores the needs of 150,000 kids,” says Dijkema. “A true, universal tutoring support program would have directed funding to families directly, allowing parents to find the most appropriate help for their children. Had this been done in time to have tutoring happen over the summer, students would have been able to make up some of the loss before the next school year begins.”

To book an interview with Brian Dijkema, contact Daniel Proussalidis at or 613-899-5174.

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