Ontario school board funding fell by $800 per student over four years: CCPA

April 28, 2022

TORONTO—Ministry of Education funding for Ontario’s 72 school boards fell by an average of $800 per student from 2017-18 to 2021-22, new analysis from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) shows.

“In today’s dollars, school boards received an average of $13,500 per student in 2017-18,” says Ricardo Tranjan, political economist and senior researcher with the CCPA Ontario office. “In 2021-22, they received $12,700 per student. That’s a significant drop of nearly six per cent.”

Sixty-six of 72 school boards received less funding per student in 2021-22 than they did in 2017-18, Tranjan said.

Tranjan’s board-by-board analysis was based on Ministry of Education data on funding received by school boards through the Grants for Student Needs, which account for close to 90 per cent of the ministry budget. 

“The fact that schools are getting less funding than four years ago is extremely disconcerting,” Tranjan said. “After all our students have been through, there has never been a greater need to boost funding. We need to ensure that students can recover from the pandemic, not just in terms of their education but in terms of their development as well, and that is going to take money.”

Tranjan is the lead author of a comprehensive plan to help Ontario school students get back on track post-COVID. The plan, Catching Up Together, makes 13 recommendations and calls for a 13% annual increase in education funding. Key recommendations include reducing class sizes, boosting wages for early childhood educators, investing in supports for children with social and mental health needs, and taking concrete steps to address the school repair backlog.

“With proper funding in place, public schools can be a great equalizer,” Tranjan said. “It is unfortunate that we have seen funding fall over the last four years.”

To read Tranjan’s school funding analysis, with details for each school board, please click here or visit https://monitormag.ca/articles/the-straight-answer-education-funding-in-ontario-has-dropped-since-2018.

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For more information, please contact Ricardo Tranjan, [email protected] or 416-835-9640