OPSBA statement on this year's school board budget challenges


"The end of the school year is always a busy and exciting time as some students are about to graduate and others to move schools or grades. OPSBA and our members are preparing to celebrate the many successes in our amazing public education system. At the same time, there are many pressures on our publicly elected trustees, supported by experienced and hardworking staff, to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and in service to students.

It is budget time at Ontario's publicly funded school boards. School boards like the Toronto District School Board and the Peel District School Board, as well as all boards across the province, face challenges of supporting programming for all students, ensuring safe and suitable learning environments, and honouring collective agreements, while also respecting the government's mandate to be even more efficient.

School boards are required to present balanced budgets every year by the end of June. Recent changes to move toward higher class size averages, particularly in secondary schools, has created the very real challenge of providing the range of classes in these schools that we know provide benefits to our students.

There are also other additional budgetary pressures this year that are significant, including changes to some grants and the reduction or elimination of others. We also know that overall provincial spending on education has slightly increased while per pupil spending is marginally lower.

We are confident that trustees and staff in all of our Ontario Public School Boards' Association member boards work very hard to ensure the best use of taxpayer dollars in support of public education.

Their efforts particularly in this more challenging year should be respected and appreciated by all as they make very difficult decisions in the very best interests of our students."

- Cathy Abraham, President