OCDSB Responds to Provincial Announcements

OCDSB Responds to Provincial Announcements
Posted on 04/18/2023
OCDSB Responds to Provincial Announcements

Grants for Student Needs

On Monday, Ontario school boards received much awaited information about the Grants for Student Needs for the 2023-2024 school year.  This information on provincial grants, as well as priority and partnerships funding, transportation funding, and capital funding is essential in order to develop the OCDSB 2023-2024 operating budget.  While there has not been sufficient time to undertake a fulsome review of the funding, we were very pleased to read in the provincial release that the base funding for public education has been increased by 2.7%.  The OCDSB, like other school boards in Ontario, has been experiencing a rise in operating costs and a number of budget pressures. We welcome the following announcements in the budget documents:

  • Investments to support early reading and math instruction;
  • Staffing supports for grades 7-10 to support destreaming and transition to high school;
  • Funding which allows for the continued operation of OCV - the Ottawa-Carleton Virtual School which provides remote learning for students in K-12; and
  • Announcement of funding increasing for staffing including psychologists, social workers, child and youth workers, educational assistants and custodian and maintenance staff.  

The OCDSB will be reviewing this information in detail to understand the local impacts of these and other changes to funding.  We are hopeful that the GSNs will fully cover the rise in program and service costs, but also the costs associated with supporting the complex needs of students in classrooms. The OCDSB 2023-2024 operating budget is scheduled to be released on May 31, 2023. For background on the budget process, please see our FAQ. 

New Transportation Funding Model

The province also announced changes to the transportation funding formula.  The OCDSB will work with the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority to better understand the financial and operational impacts of these changes. 

New Legislation - Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act

The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 was introduced in the Ontario legislature on Monday, April 17, 2023.  The legislation proposes sweeping changes to the Education Act, with increased provincial direction in a number of areas. School Boards were not given advance notice of the proposed changes. The OCDSB will take the necessary time to review the legislation to better understand the changes. It is anticipated that much of the detail will come in future Ministerial regulations. The government has invited public feedback on the proposed changes by May 16, 2023.

The OCDSB is a member of the Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSPA) and fully supports the statement issued by OPSBA, including 

“We are in support of any initiatives that improve student achievement and well-being, and public confidence in our world-leading public education system. OPSBA has long advocated for improved accountability and transparency in the delivery of public education…

Our Association and local school boards must be properly consulted on the details of important changes to the public education system. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Education on these changes as we play the most direct role in supporting student success within our local communities. Local governance, with students at the forefront, is a key part of our member boards’ ongoing success. The importance of maintaining the autonomy of democratically elected local trustees cannot be overstated.”

Read the full OPSBA statement here.

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