TORONTO - Today, the Ontario government announced that it is investing $736 million more in public education for the 2020-21 school year, increasing the total to more than $25.5 billion. This funding, through the Grants for Student Needs (GSN) program, represents the largest investment in public education in Ontario's history. As a result, Ontario's average per-pupil funding amount has reached $12,525, which is an increase of $250 over the previous year.
"We are investing more in our students to ensure they are safe, and well prepared to hit the books beginning in September," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "As we review all scenarios related to the COVID-19 outbreak, our government is supporting each and every school board in the province to ensure our students and educators have the resources available for a successful year."
All 72 district school boards in the province are projected to have increases to their GSN allocations for the upcoming school year, which includes record-high investments in special education, mental health and well-being, among many other key areas.
Under the GSN, the new $213 million student-centric Supports for Students Fund (SSF) will support:
- special education,
- mental health and well-being,
- language instruction,
- Indigenous education, and
- STEM programming.
"We are investing in new supports for marginalized and racialized students to give hope and confidence to their families that we will work to unlock their full potential and remove the barriers to their success," said Minister Lecce.
The Supports for Students Fund can also be used for additional critical staffing needs during the return to school in September, including hiring custodians and education assistants for students who need support.
In addition to the GSN, Ontario is providing funding for the Priorities and Partnerships Fund (PPF), which enables school boards and third-parties to undertake important initiatives and provide critical resources for curricular, extra-curricular, and wrap-around supports. In the upcoming school year, the PPF is projected to be over $300 million, funding approximately 150 initiatives to support students.
"LDAO is delighted to continue our partnership with the Ministry of Education to put resources into the hands of Ontario Educators. For many years we have said, Learning Disabilities are complicated, but helping isn't. Educators in every board will continue to get access to free evidence-based resources thanks to this continued funding. Ultimately, this partnership is enhancing the support for and success of students with LDs across the province." - Lawrence Barns, President and CEO, Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario
"We are pleased to partner with the Ontario government in their commitment to STEM education. This investment will have a significant impact on the lives of students across the province and provide the necessary resources to ensure every student has access to valuable STEM programs like Shad." - Tim Jackson, CEO, Shad Canada
"We very much appreciate the ongoing support of the Ontario Ministry of Education. This will allow us to bring free literacy and numeracy programs to students throughout the province - now more crucial than ever before - and to provide critical support to children and youth across the north and in Indigenous communities. This will also fund literacy training and information to hundreds of parents and community workers throughout Ontario." - Stephen Faul, President and CEO, Frontier College
"Le Centre franco is happy to be a privileged partner for the Ministry of Education and the French School Boards of Ontario. Our team immediately mobilized itself to answer the call from the start of the emergency order to offer students and families resources and services of the utmost quality financed by the Ministry of Education of Ontario." - Claude Deschamps, Chief Executive Officer, Director General, Le Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques
"Each year, TVO Mathify helps thousands of Ontario grade 6-10 students understand the math concepts that are so important to achieving success in today's world. This investment allows TVO to continue meeting the growing demand for Mathify's free online tutoring service, and represents a tangible commitment from the government to improving math scores across the province." - Jennifer Hinshelwood, Acting Chief Operating Officer, TVO
- The Government is providing funding to support the mental health and well-being of students upon the return to school in Fall 2020, as a result of emerging needs related to the COVID-19 school closures.
- Ontario is also continuing to invest $1.4 billion in school facility repair and renewal to support healthy and safe learning environments, which directly aligns with a recommendation from the Auditor General of Ontario.
- The Ministry of Education provides operating funding to Ontario’s 72 district school boards through the annual GSN education funding model. Funding to school boards is provided on a combination of per student, per school, and per board basis.
- Ontario launched Learn at Home and Apprendre à la maison, a new online portal that provides resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.