However, it will still be up to individual school boards and schools to determine how to enforce the ban.
NDP MPP Ian Arthur said his party supports the idea in general but teachers and school boards now have the power to ban cellphones.
Although some Ontario schools have similar policies in place already, the ban would require all public schools to introduce the ban in the upcoming school year. "Is this a non-issue cherry picked to pretend commitment to edu?" said Pascal, who works at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Thompson announced additional money for school boards and training for teachers Monday as hundreds of kids may soon enter school because they will get less funding for therapy.
The exceptions are in cases where phones can be used as a specific part of a lesson, or for medical resaons, or for students with special needs.
Alberta Education Minister David Eggan said the province will leave it up to teachers and school boards to make their own decisions.
"I think that this (announcement) has everything to do with a government that's trying to distract from the really serious and considerable concerns of families and education workers", she said.
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While Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner agrees that cellphones can be a distraction, he is critical of what he describes as the government's "top-down regulation" approach.
The Tory government conducted education consultations past year, and while input on the sex-education curriculum dominated headlines, feedback was also gathered on a potential classroom cellphone ban. Results found that 97 per cent of respondents wanted some sort of control over cellphone use in class.
Government officials said the code of conduct for teachers would also be changed, preventing them from letting students use their phones unless it is for education purposes.
Ontario has chose to ban cellphones in classrooms, but Alberta is not ready to make that call.
Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson has confirmed reports cellphones will be banned from classrooms as of this fall.
Spokesman Ryan Bird said the TDSB encourages appropriate uses of technology in classrooms.
It would prohibit cellphone use during instructional time.