Ontario announces new transparent education funding model, increasing core education budget by $745M

The Ford government is launching a new transparency tool it says will shine a light on how school boards are spending government dollars. Union leaders say this will do nothing to address chronic underfunding of the education system.

The Ontario government has announced a new funding model they say will better reflect the purpose of funding and be more understandable for parents.

They also announced an increase of $745 million to the core education fund for the 2024/2025 school year, bringing the total $28.6 billion.

Through the new model, the bulk of annual school board operating funding will be delivered through six funds, split between classroom staffing, learning resources, special education, school facilities, student transportation and school board administrations.

There will also be funds for Responsive Education Programs and Funding for External Partners as well as Capital Building which will provide funding for the construction, purchase, additions and renovations of schools as well as the maintenance and improvement of the condition of schools.

The provincial government is also prioritizing transparency with a new tool that will show how much funding each school board is receiving and how they are spending their funds.

The information will be available on the Ontario website and will be available twice annually.

The province is investing over $70 million to improve math funding, over $95 million will go towards improving student literacy and an increase of $117 million to the special education fund.

They are also spending $30 million over three years to support security infrastructure in schools including installing vape detectors.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB), which has been asking for additional funding from the government to cover a proposed deficit, say they are currently reviewing the details of the new funding model to understand the impacts on their budget.

“Despite their comments about increased funding, if the Ministry is not addressing inflationary increases, unfunded statutory benefits and a range of other areas identified by our board and others, we will be in the same situation we have been for years. That is why we have been very clear that the TDSB needs a new deal to address the unique funding challenges faced by our board,” shared the TDSB in a statement.

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