April 17, Toronto – While OPSBA welcomes the investments announced by the government, including additional math and literacy educators and support for students transitioning from elementary to secondary, today’s announcement falls short of what is needed to ensure all students are set up to succeed.
Per-pupil funding is increasing a small amount from $13,059 to $13,125; an increase of $66, or approximately half of 1% year over year. This will not cover increased inflationary costs in a wide variety of budget lines, let alone the rising needs of our students following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just like for families and businesses, all costs in school board budgets are going up due to inflation. If we don’t see a corresponding increase in funding, there will be an impact on students,” said OPSBA President Cathy Abraham.
Our comprehensive submission to the government in November outlined our member boards’ priorities. We expected more focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, special education, technology supports, and other important priorities.
Despite this, we will continue our advocacy for appropriate funding for public education. Recent Nanos/OPSBA data shows that nine in ten Ontarians agree that spending on public education is an investment in the future. As we’ve referenced before, we know from a 2019 Conference Board of Canada report that “each dollar of public education spending generates $1.30 in total economic benefits to Ontario. At the same time, the inverse holds true for each dollar taken from public education.”
OPSBA will continue to review the 2023-24 GSN, as well as the associated memoranda, to assess the impacts on school boards and students across Ontario. We look forward to ongoing discussions with the government to ensure that our schools have the necessary resources and supports that our students need to succeed.
For more information, please contact:
Managing Director, Government and Public Affairs, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association
Senior Communications and Policy Officer, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association