The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains on summer recess and resumes on Monday, October 28, 2019.
OPSBA Federal Election Resource Guide for School Boards and Trustees
On September 11, the writ was drawn up for the upcoming Federal Election, which takes place on October 21, 2019. The writ is the signal for the official beginning of the election campaign. During federal elections, OPSBA advocates for non-partisan strategies to engage politicians on issues that affect public education and our children and youth.
The Guide has been developed with input from OPSBA senior staff, the Policy Development Work Team, and from the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), which will be distributing a modified version of our Guide to other CSBA members across the country. The guide includes background information on several education related topics and questions to ask both candidates and parties.
How to Use this Guide
Trustees are encouraged to use this information independently when approached by a candidate or party to answer questions and engage in an education discussion. Trustees can also work with other community partners to host an all candidates meeting and supplement education-related questions. School boards can decide locally about their advocacy efforts to those federal candidates that overlap with their board’s jurisdiction and can modify it to include local board issues.
OPSBA will post relevant federal election information on our dedicated webpage, the 2019 Federal Election.
Don’t forget to encourage your schools to participate in Student Vote. To see if your school has signed up, visit https://studentvote.ca/reports. Schools can sign up at https://studentvote.ca/canada/.
Finally, OPSBA has been trying to determine whether Local Government Week will be recognized this year by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Typically this occurs during the third week of October, which aligns this year with the Federal Election. OPSBA will provide additional information soon about this initiative to determine our next steps. In past years, we have encouraged trustees to visit their local schools and meet with Grade 5 and Grade 10 Civics classes to discuss municipal government.
PPM No. 163 School Board Policies on Service Animals
On September 9, the Ministry of Education announced the release this new PPM that requires school boards to develop or update their boards policies and procedures on student use of service animals by January 1, 2020. Polices are to be posted on their board websites. The PPM includes a list of minimum policy components and boards should connect with local stakeholders.
OPSBA provided input to a draft PPM after consulting with school board staff with expertise in this area and trustees (members of our Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams) who are responsible for approving school board policy. A letter was sent on May 3 to the Minister of Education with our recommendations, including a September 1, 2020 implementation date. The requirement for school board polices respecting service animals in schools was originally part of Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2018. In February 2019, OPSBA sent a submission and presented before the Standing Committee on Social Policy.
Update: Proposed Regulations: Education Development Charges (EDCs) and Notice by School Boards Prior to Acquiring Land
A few weeks ago, OPSBA provided information on this regulatory posting which has a feedback deadline of October 7, 2019. This past week, OPSBA staff participated in a teleconference hosted by the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO). Participants included finance and planning school board staff, as well as trustees/school board associations. Next week, we have been asked to participate in a Ministry of Education consultation as the ministry is preparing an updated guideline document related to EDCs and site acquisitions to support school boards and other stakeholders.
OPSBA submission on Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019.
September 10, 2019 Posting, Five-Year Graduation Rate Information
September 10, 2019 Statement, Minister Lecce Welcomes German Education Committee
September 10, 2019 News Release, Ontario Investing in New Community-Wide Project Aimed at Ending Child and Youth Suicide in Mississauga