Legislative Update – November 14, 2022

2022 11/14 | Connects Page, Education Finance, Education Policy, Elections, Ontario Newsroom, Provincial Updates

Members of Provincial Parliament returned to Queen’s Park today, November 14. Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy is expected to present the government’s fall economic statement and the government has stated it will introduce legislation to rescind Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, which should pass quickly. On November 15, the Standing Committee on Social Policy will hear from ministry officials regarding the 2022-2023 Estimates of the Ministry of Education. Speakers include the Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister and many senior staff.

Earlier today, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore, joined by Dr. Chris Simpson, Executive Vice-President (Medical) at Ontario Health, urged Ontarians to once again wear face coverings to help in “protecting our most vulnerable.” As the Toronto Star reported, Dr. Moore is asking “for mask wearing in indoor social settings as well as indoor public spaces to slow the spread of respiratory viruses like flu, RSV and COVID-19 that are sending young children to hospital emergency rooms at double or triple the usual rate. Pediatric intensive care units are swamped to overflowing, forcing the health care system to reallocate resources such as postponing surgeries already delayed by the pandemic.”

Also today, the Financial Accountability Office released a report analyzing the Ministry of Education’s spending plan. To view the report, a briefing deck, and the news release, visit Ministry of Education: Spending Plan Review.

See the Ministry memo sent to school boards about returning to normal operations.

The government will then have four weeks or 16 sittings days before rising for winter recess after December 8.

Remembrance Day

November 8 was Indigenous Veterans Day and November 11 was Remembrance Day throughout Canada, a time to honour and remember those who have served Canada and sacrificed their lives in war and armed conflicts around the world. We joined our member boards in honouring our veterans and seek to promote peace through our words and actions. Across Ontario, students and staff in schools held Remembrance Day ceremonies with students visiting branches of the Royal Canadian Legion and cenotaphs, hearing from distinguished guests and veterans at assemblies, and learning about the sacrifice of so many Canadians in past and current world conflicts.

Municipal Council and School Boards: New Term Begins

The new term for school board trustees runs from November 15, 2022, to November 14, 2026. Many boards will be offering orientation information about the role and responsibilities of school boards and individual trustees. OPSBA suggests boards consider including the OESC Trustee Professional Development Program (online modules) as part of their orientation, in particular:

Please note that digital copies of OESC’s Good Governance Guide are expected soon with printed versions available in January 2023.

Don’t forget to save the date for OPSBA’s Public Education Symposium (PES) 2023. This premier professional development event for Ontario’s public school boards will be held from January 26 to 28 at the Sheraton Centre, Toronto. OPSBA looks forward to the first in-person PES since 2020 and to welcoming all trustees for the new term. We have a great program lined up and registration will be open soon.

REMINDER – 2023-24 Education Funding Consultation Guide / Grants For Student Needs

The submission deadline for the Ministry of Education’s 2023-24 Education Funding Guide is tomorrow – Tuesday, November 15. OPSBA has asked for an extension and a draft will be shared at the upcoming joint Education Program and Policy Development Work Groups. The Association’s draft includes feedback from a survey of our Board of Directors, the Indigenous Trustees’ Council, senior business officials, and member board correspondence. Our draft answers the ministry’s consultation questions and focuses on key funding lines to support our multi-year strategic priorities. Individual boards may also provide submissions which are to be sent to: EDULABFINANCE@ontario.ca  Please be sure to copy OPSBA on any submission sent to the ministry.

To view a copy of this year’s Guide, visit 2023-24 Education Funding Consultation Guide.

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