What are you doing?
ETFO Waterloo is raising public awareness around the need to review our Education Funding Formula.
Why are you doing this?
In 1997, Mike Harris’ Progressive Conservative government changed the way education is funded in Ontario. The main purposes of this change was to reduce the overall spending on elementary school and better distribute the resources from “wealthy” large urban school boards to less “wealthy” boards - mostly rural/remote school boards and Catholic boards.
However, the impact to the classroom was catastrophic. Money was diverted away from important programs intended to support students from immigrant families and students at risk. Special Education services were cut and many needs were left unmet. Schools deteriorated as maintenance was deferred. Art and music education, and library services were eliminated.
When the Liberals came to power, the relationship between the Ontario government and teachers’ unions become more positive. However, the fundamental issues remained and have yet to be addressed despite numerous promises.
It’s time to review and revise the Education Funding Formula!
This is the difference in funding per student between elementary and secondary education is $612.
When the Harris government introduced its new funding formula, there was a differential in funding support between the elementary and secondary panels in the public education system. Foundation Grant funding per student was higher in the secondary panel than in the elementary panel, a differential only partially offset by higher funding per student for special education, and higher per-student amounts linked to teachers’ placement on the qualifications and experience grid.
What are you asking for?
- That the Ontario government revise its 2017-2018 Grants for Student Needs to increase support for special education funding to school boards to address the challenge of meeting the needs of children with learning exceptionalities and mental health issues;
- That the government conduct an independent, external review of the statistical model it uses for funding special education to evaluate its effectiveness in meeting actual student need;
- That the education funding formula be amended to increase school boards’ capacity to deliver front-line children’s services by paraprofessionals such as school counsellors, psychologists, behavioural counsellors, social workers and speech-language pathologists so that students have greater access to services and shorter wait times;
- That the education funding formula be amended to ensure the average class size of grades 4 to 8 does not exceed 22 students, the current average class size for secondary students;
- That the government continue the reduction of Kindergarten class size beyond 2018-2019 through a systematic and sustained application of class size caps that bring Kindergarten class size in line with other primary grades;
- That the government address the current $612 per pupil differential in funding for elementary and secondary students by increasing Pupil Foundation Grant allocations for elementary specialist teachers, guidance, librarians, learning and library materials, classroom supplies and computers;
- That the government establish, through legislation, a comprehensive evidence-based review of the education funding formula every five years to determine its effectiveness in supporting high-quality public education.
What else can I do to support this issue?
Sign our petition!
Call or email your MPP.
Write a letter to the editor expressing your concerns.
Share this information on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.