By Gary Wheeler
(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario is providing $22.5 billion in education funding through the 2015-16 Grants for Student Needs. The grants, provided to the province’s 72 school boards each year, will remain stable to ensure consistent investments in Ontario’s publicly funded education system.
Since 2003, this funding has supported increased student achievement and a higher graduation rate. Over that time, grants have increased by $8.1 billion, or 56 per cent, despite declining school enrolment.
“Ontario’s education system is one of the best in the world. Improving the quality of the system and taking it to the next level is a top priority for our government and our partners,” said Liz Sandals, Minister of Education. “This demands innovation, dedication, and partnership along with strong, stable, and sustainable funding. To achieve that, we are modernizing funding to reflect the impact of declining enrolment and reinvesting savings directly into enhancing the classroom experience.”
Through the Grants for Student Needs, Ontario is encouraging school boards to shift their focus from maintaining underused facilities to improving student programing and updating schools. The government has released new guidelines to help school boards review their schools while working with municipalities and community organizations that could benefit from otherwise underused public space.
The government recently approved a $150 million investment to support 31 school consolidation projects.
Ontario is also investing $500 million to improve the condition of schools to ensure Ontario’s students benefit from improved, modern learning environments.