Backgrounder - Top 10 improvements to the funding formula since 2003

Archived Release

Backgrounder - Top 10 improvements to the funding formula since 2003

Ministry of Education

TORONTO, Aug. 14 - Just as the needs of students and communities change, the funding formula is also constantly being refined and revised to better meet those needs. Each year, the government consults with its education partners across the province and asks for their input into education funding. Since 2003, the funding formula has undergone major reforms. Today's announcement builds on four years of significant improvements to the funding formula and provides a foundation for future changes. The government is investing a further $182 million for the 2007-08 school year, on top of the $781 million increase announced in March 2007. For the 2008-09 school year, an additional $127 million in new funding will be delivered. Together with the funding provided in previous years, the new investments support significant improvements in the formula. Significant reforms to funding formula to date 1) More teachers - both in elementary and secondary schools. - Over 5,100 teachers to reduce class sizes at the primary level - 1,925 new elementary specialist teachers for art, music, physical education, language and core subjects such as English, science and math - 1,925 student success teachers to help more high school students graduate - $20 million increase in support for supply teachers. 2) Peace and stability - for the first time in almost a decade, boards don't have to use funding from other budget lines to pay for existing salaries. - Addressing Dr. Mordechai Rozanski's major findings by updating and increasing salary benchmarks to fund four-year agreements - 300 more vice principals and an update to their salary benchmarks - Benchmarks raised for secretaries, education assistants and professionals and paraprofessionals. 3) Responding to local needs - changing the "one size fits all" formula to recognize the needs of: - Northern and rural boards by protecting small schools from closing and support for high quality education programs - French-language boards with additional support for early learning programs, more teachers and a new school construction program - Boards with declining enrolment with funding support to recognize that costs decline slower than revenue - Small boards through additional support for school board operations. 4) Meeting student needs - increasing funding for: - Students at risk - A well-rounded education by creating and expanding the Program Enhancement Grant that provides funding to school boards to support arts, music and outdoor education - English-as-a-Second-Language and Perfectionnement-du-français programs - Creating the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Supplement - Adult continuing education and English-as-a-Second-Language. 5) Reflecting real costs - increasing benchmarks for fuel, utilities, salaries, non-salary compensation, school operations and school office and other expenditures to better reflect existing costs. 6) Providing school-based funding - creating the $1 billion School Foundation Grant so that small schools and schools with declining enrolment get the stable funding they need, and creating and expanding the Supported Schools Allocation. 7) Renewing our schools - funding a $4 billion investment to repair, rebuild and expand schools, providing funding for schools in areas of local growth, and providing funding to make schools healthier and safer for students and staff. 8) Reforming special education - additional investments while reviewing Special Education funding: - increasing the number of high-needs students receiving support - increasing funding for high-needs students at boards with growing enrolment - providing stable funding for high-needs students at boards with decreasing enrolment - increasing support for Education and Teaching Assistants. 9) Improving transportation funding - encouraging boards to work together to improve service for students and to reduce costs and increasing funding for transportation to support a new bus costs benchmark. Plus, an ongoing review of transportation operations will result in additional funding for boards that need it. 10) Strengthening school-community partnerships - introducing annual funding to reduce fees that community groups pay to use schools after hours and providing funding to encourage parent engagement. These changes have been driven by proven strategies to improve student achievement and by the recognition of school boards' costs. Through all these changes, the government has made the funding system more transparent so that parents and the community can now clearly see how boards are spending the funding they receive. Disponible en français www.edu.gov.on.ca www.ontario.ca/progress Contact Info For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929, or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929, or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892