OPSBA Media Release, Tentative agreement reached with EWAODec. 10, 2019
Tentative agreement reached between province and education workersDaily Hive Toronto, Dec. 10, 2019The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) said that the Education Workers’ Alliance of Ontario (EWAO) have successfully negotiated a tentative agreement with the provincial government.More ...
Brampton and Mississauga education workers' union reaches tentative deal with provinceMississauga.com, Dec. 10, 2019Some education workers in Ontario have reached a tentative agreement with the province, just as public high school teachers prepare to stage a one-day walkout in selected school boards.More ...
Know an Ontario public school student, teacher, education worker, parent, volunteer or trustee who deserves recognition for making a difference in their community?
Nominations are now being accepted for the Ontario Public School Boards' Association's Awards Program. OPSBA's Awards strive to recognize the outstanding contributions to the public education system made by individuals across Ontario.
The nomination deadline for all the awards, except for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award, is April 2, 2020 at 5 p.m.
The nomination deadline for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award is June 11, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Complete information about the awards listed below, including access to the online nomination form, is available on the OPSBA Awards webpage.
The President's Award recognizes persons with 25 years of service in public education.
The Jack A. MacDonald Award of Merit honours an elementary or secondary school student attending an Ontario public school who has earned a sound academic record and has shown outstanding service and leadership in his or her community.
The Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award is presented annually to an active or retired member of the teaching profession. The successful candidate is selected on the basis of outstanding contribution to education throughout Ontario, such as constructive participation in education affairs over a number of years or for dedication to some recent and specific project that has had provincial impact.
The Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit is awarded to an active or retired public school trustee for outstanding service.
The OPSBA Award of Excellence and Achievement Award were created by OPSBA to recognize the outstanding contributions of non-teaching staff, parents, volunteers and community partners involved in education in Member Boards. This award provides an opportunity to raise awareness and promote the importance of celebrating excellence and the necessity of recognizing the work of all members of the education community.
The Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award is for dedication, commitment and an outstanding contribution to education with special recognition for Northern Ontario service.
For more information: Mary Adams, Awards Coordinator, 416-340-2540, ext.101, or email the OPSBA Webmaster.
A portrait of Olympian
swimmer Penny Oleksiak was unveiled at the TDSB’s Monarch Park Collegiate
recently, in honour of her achievements at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Oleksiak became the
first Canadian to win four medals in the same Games and the country's youngest
Olympic champion. She won gold in the 100m freestyle, silver in the 100m
butterfly, two bronze medals in the women's freestyle relays, and Canadian
hearts everywhere. At the time, Oleksiak was also enrolled as a student at
Monarch Park Collegiate.
limited-edition prints of the portrait signed by Oleksiak and the artist,
Jeffrey Sprang, are for sale. The proceeds will support swim programs at
various Toronto District School Board schools.
Sprang’s art has
supported education in Canada and around the world. In June 1990, he met Nelson
Mandela at Central Technical School which led to a limited-edition print in
support of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Canada. His work has also
supported the literacy development charity, One World Schoolhouse Foundation.
Sprang joined OPSBA as its communications director in 1999 and over a period of
18 years solidified a remarkable reputation as the "go-to guy" for
straight talk on public education.
For more information and to
purchase a print, visit the TDSB’s SchoolCashOnline
The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) Board of Directors held a meeting on November 24, 2019, in Toronto. Elaine Johnston, Chair of OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC), gave an acknowledgement that the meeting was being held on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the Métis Nation.
Nik Nanos of Nanos Research attended part of the meeting to discuss and outline results from recent polling in advance of the release of a report on the morning of November 25 as part of the Association's Advocacy Day at Queen's Park.
Education policy and program issues that were discussed in public session at the meeting are summarized below.
An update on collective bargaining was provided to board members. OPSBA is fully engaged in its role as the bargaining agent for all English public school boards in the province. For additional status updates, visit the OPSBA website.
OPSBA Advocacy Day The Association's second Advocacy Day was a tremendous success. Board of Directors members and student trustees spent the day at Queen's Park meeting with their local MPPs. The day began with a breakfast meeting with the Minister of Education, attendance in Question Period, and an evening reception.
In total, OPSBA representatives met with 54 MPPs (24 PC, 23 NDP, three Liberal, one Green, and one Independent).
Polling and Research OPSBA engaged Nanos Research in November to conduct a public opinion poll on a number of education-related topics. The polling and research was announced publicly as a part of the Association's press conference at Queen's Park on November 25. We expect this initiative to bolster OPSBA's advocacy position on key issues, such as the importance of investment in public education, Indigenous Education, curriculum, mental health supports and the importance of electing trustees.
Education Today – Fall 2019 The Fall 2019 issue of OPSBA's education magazine is now available online. This issue focused specifically on Indigenous Education, and includes columns from OPSBA President Cathy Abraham, Elaine Johnston, Thames Valley DSB Indigenous Student Trustree Chiara Kennedy and Hastings and Prince Edward DSB Director of Education Sean Monteith. Interviews include Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.
Media Statements and News Releases
OPSBA Media Activity
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumed sitting on October 28, 2019, with the government identifying priorities in a news release, Building Ontario Together. OPSBA has been following legislation and regulatory change related to the public education sector, including: Bill 124, Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019; Bill 116, Foundations for Promoting and Protecting Mental Health and Addictions Services Act, 2019; Education Development Charge regulation amendments.
On November 6, Finance Minister Rod Phillips tabled his Fall Economic Statement legislation, Bill 138, The Plan to Build Ontario Together Act. The government is projecting a lower deficit of $9 billion in 2019-20, compared to the $10.3 billion that was forecast in the spring budget. Overall spending is forecast to go up to nearly $163.8 billion, which includes an extra $404 million for health care and $186 million for education.
Full Legislative Updates are available on the OPSBA Connects blog.
Local Government Week – October 20-26, 2019 The annual week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the important civic contributions of school boards and municipalities to communities across the province. An updated resource package was provided to trustees and a follow-up letter has been sent to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark requesting a meeting with municipal and school board partners to coordinate Local Government Week 2020.
Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health The Coalition held a full day meeting on October 4, 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to:
The results of this day will help to identify themes for an expanded stakeholder group discussion day being planned for 2020.FSL Labour Market Partnership Project OPSBA is leading a labour market partnership project, Meeting Labour Market Needs for French as a Second Language Instruction in Ontario, for English and Catholic public school boards. This is a three-year initiative and the ultimate goal of this project is to uncover workable solutions to the current worsening imbalance between the growing demand province-wide for qualified French language teachers and support staff and the related supply pipeline. Phase II of the three year initiative has now been completed and the Ministry contract ended on November 11, 2019. All deliverables have been met and the executive summary and the full report are being finalized in order to seek Ministry approval for public distribution in December. There will be a session at the Public Education Symposium in January 2020 that will outline the Phase II findings and next steps for the FSL-Labour Market Partnership Project.Recommendations for a New Needs-Based Ontario Autism Program –The Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel ReportThere are specific recommendations that have implications for school boards. It has been recommended that an education advisory committee on autism be formed before the end of 2019. OPSBA will request to be represented on this committee.
The full report from the Advisory Panel
The Association's Northern Regional Meeting was held in Thunder Bay on October 4, 2019. OPSBA staff attended to assist in facilitating a session to reaffirm key priorities and areas of focus. A letter with a summary of priorities will be sent to Ministers Stephen Lecce and Greg Rickford.
There are now only two sitting weeks left in the fall session with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario rising on December 12, 2019. Many pieces of legislation are being time-allocated in order for them to pass their legislative stages before the House rises.
The Association's second Advocacy Day was a tremendous success. Board of Directors members and student trustees spent the day at Queen's Park meeting with their local MPPs. The day began with a breakfast meeting with the Minister of Education, attendance in Question Period, and an evening reception. In total, OPSBA representatives met with 54 MPP offices (24 PC, 23 NDP, three Liberal, one Green, and one Independent). OPSBA engaged Nanos Research in November to conduct a public opinion poll on a number of education-related topics. The polling and research was announced publicly as a part of the Association's press conference that morning.
OPSBA media release, and three handouts that focus on Indigenous Education, The Whole Child & Student Well-Being and Education Funding
This legislation was introduced on November 27 by NDP MPP France Gélinas. Its intention is to amend the Act to prohibit the promotion of vapour products. Health Minister Christine Elliott has said the government will ban the promotion of vaping products in convenience stores and gas stations starting January 1, 2020. The bill is at First Reading.
This legislation was introduced on November 6 by Minister of Finance Rod Phillips and is the legislation to support the Fall Economic Statement, which includes amendments to 40 different Acts. The legislation was time allocated and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Toronto on December 2, 2019. Written submissions are also due at that time.
This legislation was introduced on May 27 by Minister of Health Christine Elliott. It enacts two Schedules, the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence Act, 2019, and the Opioid Damages and Health Costs Recovery Act, 2019. On November 28, the government's time allocation motion was tabled and will be voted on early next week. The motion would refer the legislation to the Standing Committee on Social Policy, conduct public meetings on December 6, have written submissions due December 6, and require the bill to return to the House for Third Reading on December 11, 2019.
In early November, at the request of the Chair and Director of Education, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced a review of the Peel District School Board. Ontario Regulation 43/10: Provincial Interest in Education was amended on November 8, 2019, to include a section referencing the review of the Peel DSB, which includes a revocation date of December 31, 2020. Last week, the Minister announced that Suzanne Herbert and Ena Chadha have been appointed to conduct an immediate review of the board.
Government news release
OPSBA hosts its Advocacy Day on Monday, November 25. There are three more sitting weeks left in the fall session with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario rising on Thursday, December 12, 2019. Please see below for an update on recent items.
This legislation was introduced on November 6, 2019 by Minister of Finance Rod Phillips and is the legislation to support the Fall Economic Statement which includes amendments to 40 different Acts. It remains at Second Reading Debate. Schedules of Interest include:
This legislation was introduced on May 27, 2019, by Minister of Health, Christine Elliott. It enacts two Schedules, the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence Act, 2019, and the Opioid Damages and Health Costs Recovery Act, 2019. It remains at Second Reading Debate.
On November 8, 2019, the Ministry of Education issued memo B20, Education Development Charge Policy Framework Update. The memo follows their earlier consultation work reviewing the EDC framework to indicate that amendments have been made to the Ontario Regulation 20/98 (Education Development Charges – General) and Ontario Regulation 444/98 (Disposition of Surplus Real Property). The amendments include changes to EDC Rate Restrictions, Alternative Projects, Notification of Site Acquisitions and EDC Rate Calculations.
OPSBA sent in a submission after coordinating our work with the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO). Our submission focused on our continued advocacy for an increase in the charges to cover the actual costs of sites and the flexibility to support boards experiencing areas of growth.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is adjourned until November 18, 2019, as MPPs are heading back to their ridings for a constituency week break.
Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy introduced this legislation on June 5, 2019, which caps public sector wage hikes to an average of 1% per year for the next three years. This legislation passed a third-reading vote on November 7 and has also now received Royal Assent. At the public committee hearing on November 4, a number of labour groups argued the legislation infringes on employees' collective bargaining rights.
Government news release
On November 6, Finance Minister Rod Phillips tabled his Fall Economic Statement legislation, Bill 138, the Plan to Build Ontario Together Act. The government is projecting a lower deficit of $9 billion in 2019-20 compared to the $10.3 billion that was forecast in the spring budget. Overall spending is forecast to go up to nearly $163.8 billion in 2019-20, which includes an extra $404 million for health care and $186 million for education, and also covers previous funding policy reversals/changes on municipal public health funding and the autism program.
The government's document (page 159) explains that the Education Sector expense has increased by $186 million in 2019–20 mainly due to:
OPSBA President Cathy Abraham was asked about this funding and her statement to the media was the following:
"We look forward to having more discussions with the government about any additional funding for school boards following the release of yesterday's Fall Economic Statement. We [the Ontario Public School Boards' Association] believe that strong and equitable education funding is essential for creating the conditions that promote and sustain student achievement and well-being. We will continue to make the case to the government that funding needs to be predictable and sustainable, and should allow for greater local flexibility to meet the unique needs of our members' communities."
Full document, 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: A Plan to Build Ontario Together
Note: The full document is 218 pages and the Education Section begins on page 29.
Government news release, Ontario Government Beating Fiscal Targets While Investing in Priority Programs
At the request of the Chair and Director of Education, Education Minister Stephen Lecce has announced his intent to launch an immediate review of the Peel District School Board to address concerns about equity and board governance, senior leadership issues, and human resources practices. The names of the reviewers will be announced in the coming weeks. Upon completion of the review, the reviewers would provide the Minister with recommendations. Such reviews involve amending Ontario Regulation 43/10: Provincial Interest in Education.
OPSBA's Fall 2019 issue of Education Today is now available online and focuses on Indigenous Education. The edition includes interviews with Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and Alvin Fiddler, Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, as well as numerous articles from our member boards.
November 8, 2019 News Release - Ontario Increasing Investments in Skilled Trades
November 4, 2019 - Minister of Education Statement on Ratification of CUPE Central Agreement
November 4, 2019 News Release - Celebrating National Skilled Trades and Technology Week
November 4, 2019 - Statement from Premier Doug Ford re: 39th annual Holocaust Education Week
The Fall 2019 Indigenous Education issue of OPSBA's Education Today magazine is now available online, featuring columns from:
This issue also has nearly three dozen Indigenous Education-related stories from OPSBA member boards, and interviews with Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.
If you would like to receive email notifications when future new issues are posted, please click on the Sign up for Email Notification link below to provide your information.
Current IssueBack IssuesSign up for Email Notification
OPSBA Media Release, Strong Support for Public Education in OntarioNov. 25, 2019
OPSBA Media Release, OPSBA statement regarding the move to two mandatory e-learning creditsNov. 21, 2019
OPSBA Media Release, OPSBA statement regarding the appointment of mediators to central bargaining tablesNov. 18, 2019
OPSBA Media Release, OPSBA Ratifies Settlement Reached with CUPENov. 5, 2019
Public high school teachers to hold one-day strike on WednesdayThe Toronto Star, Nov. 28, 2019Ontario’s public high school teachers will stage a one-day strike next Wednesday in a bid to pressure the province as contract negotiations drag on.More ...
Most people think that education funding is more important than reducing debtmingpaocanada.com, Nov. 26, 2019
Ontarians don’t support larger class sizes, Nanos poll findsThe Toronto Star, Nov. 25, 2019As tens of thousands of teachers begin working to rule Tuesday morning, a new poll has found that a majority of Ontarians oppose larger class sizes.More ...
Public opposes Ontario government's changes to education, poll suggestsCTV News Toronto, Nov. 25, 2019QUEEN'S PARK --
Premier Doug Ford’s government may lack public support when it comes to wide-ranging changes to the education system, according to a new poll which tracked voter sentiment on everything from education spending to class sizes.More ...
Ontario backs down on online high school courses, cuts requirement from 4 to 2The Toronto Star, Nov. 21, 2019Ontario’s plan for four mandatory online high school courses is being reduced to two, and will be phased in starting with Grade 9 students next fall, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Thursday.More ...
Ontario to boost education spending by $186MThe Toronto Star, Nov. 7, 2019The province will spend an additional $186 million on education this year, money that will fund child care spaces as well as the increase in enrolment in Ontario schools this fall.More ...
Cellphone ban in Ontario schools called ‘more hype than substance’The Toronto Star, Nov. 3, 2019The government says it will end classroom distraction — but critics say the cellphone “ban” itself is a distraction, and not much different from policies schools already have in place.More ...
The York Region DSB’s Quest 2019, The Quest: Indigenous Education and
Equity is taking place on November 20-22, 2019 at the Sheraton
Parkway North Hotel.
At Quest 2019,
participants will develop a deeper understanding of indigenous education and
equity, and share their inquiries and knowledge through active participation.
The program will showcase learning in
a traditional workshop format, as well as teaching in a traditional indigenous
education setting. Some of this year’s speakers include
Jesse Wente, Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Kike Ojo-Thompson, Dr. Debbie Donsky and
Gabrielle Scrimshaw. Conference co-hosts are Dr. Avis Glaze and Pamala Agawa.
The key strategy components that are the basis
for keynote addresses and workshop presentations include: Building
Knowledge and Capacity, Learning, Teaching and Assessment, Disrupting
Oppression, and Engaging Families, Guardians and Communities.
Each year, Quest brings together
1000+ members of the education community from around the world. Participants
explore current issues in education and learn together to improve student
achievement and well-being.
Be the first
to get conference updates by following @YRDSB or by searching #YRDSBQuest on Twitter. You can also follow the conference on Instagram @YRDSBQuest.
Please visit www.questconference.ca for more
information about speakers, program, pricing and registration.
If you have any questions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org