Legislative Update – May 13, 2019

2019 5/13 | Connects Page, Education Finance, Provincial Updates

A photo of Queen's Park in Toronto from the front on a sunny day.

Bill 100, Protecting What Matters Most Act (Budget Measures)

Public hearings took place for the government’s budget implementation legislation and OPSBA sent a submission on May 9 to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Our submission reflected our support for the Reciprocal Education Approach and outlines our concerns and questions about moving the Minister of Education’s authority to approve and authorize in-year deficits from the Education Act into a regulation.

Current Status: Clausal review will occur on May 13 and May 14, 2019. The bill is to report back to the House on May 15, 2019.                            ‘

Note: On May 10, Memo SB06, 2019-20 Estimates (District School Boards) was sent to Senior Business Officials. The memo includes the following about in-year deficits: 

Should the Bill [Bill 100] receive Royal Assent, the ministry intends to propose to the Lieutenant Governor in Council a regulation that would:

  • Indicate that a board is expected to balance its budget in 2019-20. However, a board may incur an in-year deficit up to the lower of 1 per cent of the school board’s operating revenue or the accumulated surplus for the preceding school year, consistent with the requirements as they are currently set out in the Education Act.
  • Include a new requirement where a plan/resolution must be submitted by a school board, with its estimates submission, showing the elimination of the in-year deficit within two years.

Any deficit over the threshold would still require formal approval from the Minister before school boards can pass their budget.

Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019

This legislation was introduced on May 2, by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. OPSBA is reviewing the legislation and its proposed amendments, which includes a reference to Education Development Charges. The Ministry of Education has indicated that there will be engagement with the sector. We will continue our advocacy for an increase in the charges to cover board costs and flexibility in the regulation to support our member boards with areas of growth.

Current Status: Second Reading Debate

Bill 107, Getting Ontario Moving Act (Transportation Statute Law Amendment), 2019

This bill was introduced on May 2 by Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek and proposes the ability for municipalities to impose fines on those drivers who drive past school buses with their stop-arms out, and drivers who are speeding near schools. OPSBA will recommend that any monies collected from fines be shared with school boards for student safety initiatives.

Current Status: Second Reading Debate

OSTA-AECO Vision Document

On May 6, the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association – l’Association des Élèves Conseillers/ères de l’Ontario (OSTA-AECO) released their student-developed policy “vision document” at Queen’s Park. OSTA-AECO, which advocates on behalf of two million pupils, is urging the province to reverse course on plans to increase class sizes in Grades 4 and up and require more mandatory online high school classes, which will have “a detrimental effect on student learning.”  In total, there are 33 recommendations captured under six pillars. On behalf of the Association, OPSBA’s Second VP Carol Ann Sloat attended the event.

Other Information