Education Funding, 2009-10

Highlights Of The 2009-10 Grants For Student Needs

March 26, 2009

Strong publicly funded schools are at the core of a competitive economy. That's why Ontario is increasing education funding through the Grants for Student Needs (GSN) for the seventh consecutive school year.

Despite declining enrolment and a challenging economic environment, Ontario continues to invest in education, and has increased its annual investment by more than $5 billion to 34 per cent since coming to office.

Key Facts

  • The GSN is the annual funding provided by the Ministry of Education to school boards to support educational program and services, staffing and school facilities.
  • The 2009-10 GSN is increasing to $19.8 billion – up almost $600 million over last year, or more than 3 per cent.
  • Funding per student in 2009-10 is projected to rise to $10,450. That means $414 more per student – more than four per cent – compared to last year. This represents an increase of more than $3,000 per student since 2002-03 – up 42 per cent.

Funding Highlights

  • Funding More Staff In Schools
    • 555 more elementary specialist teachers – in areas such as arts – to support 10 additional minutes of preparation time per week
    • 126 more Grade 4-8 teachers to reduce class sizes
    • 211 more elementary school office staff for an increased adult presence in schools
    • 593 more custodians to provide cleaner, safer schools
    • 400 more professional and para-professional staff to help at-risk students and those with special needs
    • 129 more secondary teachers to support locally-developed programs
  • Supporting Peace And Stability
    • Improved salaries and benefits for all staff will be funded based on the recently reached four-year provincial framework agreements.
  • Keeping Up With Increased Costs and Inflation
    • The Community Use of Schools program will receive almost two per cent in additional funding to ensure that school space for after-school activities continues to be affordable for all Ontario families.
    • Electricity, natural gas, insurance and other essentials needed to operate schools will be supported with a two per cent funding increase.
    • Student transportation costs – including fuel and maintenance – will receive a two per cent funding increase.

Process Improvement Highlights

  • Operational reviews of school boards will identify best business practices and help boards better manage school maintenance, human resources and other non-academic planning.
  • Support will continue to be offered to school boards to improve student transportation management capacity.
  • An Expert Panel on Capital Standards has been established. The panel is working on a manual of leading practices in school design and construction and is advising on a number of green initiatives.
  • Support will be provided to school boards to improve their internal audit processes and establish audit committees with external representation to ensure funds are better managed.
  • Cost saving measures will be implemented to address several areas including textbook and computer purchases, staff development, and declining enrolment.