TORONTO — A new interactive online map from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) spells out how the Ontario government’s cuts to education funding are affecting the finances of each of the province’s 72 school boards.
“With students back in school this week, parents and guardians are hearing about missing teachers and support staff, but by moving money between funding envelopes, the government has created a general sense of confusion as to what the actual cuts are,” says Ricardo Tranjan, Senior Researcher with the CCPA’s Ontario office. “This new analysis shows exactly how school board budgets have changed, in real terms.”
The CCPA’s analysis compares provincial school board operating funding for the 2019-20 school year to funding for 2017-18. Across the province, per-student funding has been reduced by $375 on average, or three per cent in real terms (adjusted for inflation).
The percentage change in real total operating funding for individual school boards ranges from cuts of six per cent to increases of five per cent. Trillium Lakelands DSB (down 6.5 per cent) and York Catholic DSB (down 6.3 per cent) are seeing the highest percentage cut in total operating grants.
“Sixteen of the 72 school boards have an increase in total operating funding, but all 16 have cuts in per-student funding,” said Tranjan. “In boards with increases, the increase was smaller than what was necessary to make up for enrolment growth, so they have less money per student overall.”
In addition to showing changes to total operating and per-student spending, the CCPA’s interactive map shows changes to the Learning Opportunities Grant (LOG). Initially set up to assist students living in contexts that increase the chances of lower academic achievement, this grant has been increasingly used to fund a variety of programs, including supports for students with learning disabilities. The 2019-2020 funding estimates include a 36 per cent cut to the LOG grant compared to 2017-2018, adjusted for inflation. Some boards face cuts as large as 76 per cent (York Catholic DSB); Toronto DSB, the largest board by population, is losing 62 per cent of its LOG.
The map showing funding changes for all 72 Ontario school boards is available at http://behindthenumbers.ca/2019/09/04/ontario-school-boards-map/.
For more information, contact: Alyssa O’Dell, CCPA Media and Public Relations Officer, 613-563-1341 ext. 307 or [email protected].