Here's What's Happening with Schools in Mississauga
With potential teacher layoffs and course disruptions on the horizon, school boards are deciding what to do with funds that recently came down from the province.
The Ministry of Education recently confirmed education funding allocations to the province's school boards.
Ontario will provide $24.66 billion in education funding to school boards in 2019-20, investing more in education for the coming school year than the previous government committed for 2018-19.
In Peel, the school board welcomes approximately 500 international students. This equals an approximate loss of funding of $650,000 for the Peel board.
"We are putting student achievement at the centre of everything we do to make sure students leave school with the tools they need to be successful both inside and outside the classroom," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education.
The provincial government says it will use a modernized approach to education reform to utilize technology better, give students the skills they need, protect front line teachers and ensure every dollar spent benefits students.
"We promised to improve the education system for students in Peel Region and across Ontario. By putting students at the centre of our planning, we are ensuring their future success. We are modernising the classroom and updating the curriculum to make sure our students succeed in math and literacy," said Natalia Kusendova, Mississauga's Centre MPP.
But with this new approach comes some changes, the most significant being increasing classroom sizes.
While kindergarten and primary classes will be mostly unaffected, the Ministry announced that class sizes would be increased within all intermediate and secondary schools.
Some teachers have also been declared surplus in anticipation of a funding decrease.
The PDSB--which oversees public schools in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon--recently confirmed that, due to impending funding cuts at the provincial level, it was forced to declare 330 teachers surplus.The layoffs can, however, be called off if the board finds that it has sufficient funding to allow teachers to retain permanent positions.
The layoffs were announced in response to the Ford government’s proposal to cut central staffing at the school board level and increase class sizes.
On April 16, the PDSB declared a total of 292 teachers surplus (which means there will be no permanent teaching positions available for them come the fall). The affected educators include 99 elementary teachers and 193 secondary teachers. Reyes said the board already declared 38 elementary teachers surplus due to the loss of local priorities funding.
Last week, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) said it was pleased to hear that the government will provide attrition protection funding to protect staff impacted by changes to class sizes and e-learning.
“Once we learn the board-specific details, staff who were impacted by these changes will be contacted. It’s not yet clear if this funding will also protect jobs that were affected by cuts to secondary programming and local priority funding, announced earlier this year, that are unrelated to class size increases. These changes have already resulted in staffing cuts at the Peel board,” the PDSB said in a statement.
The Ministry announced a Priorities and Partnerships Fund (PPF), replacing the previous education programs - other funding. For 2019-20, the PPF will provide up to $330 million in funding to support ministry priorities, including Indigenous education, math, mental health, parent engagement and special education.
The program allocations are outlined here.
Provincially, the ministry will provide $15.2 million in a behaviour expertise amount allocation. This allows school boards to hire more professional staff at the board level who have expertise in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and to increase training opportunities.
The Ministry has indicated it will increase the school renewal allocation provincially by $40 million. This renewal funding is provided to address facility condition, provide healthy and safe learning environments, and address energy efficiency and accessibility requirements of schools. The amount of funding the Peel board will receive has not been shared yet.
"Our plan for rolling out class sizes over four years to meet national standards, added protections for teacher's jobs, funding based on enrollment, in conjunction with curricula updates, all ensure that future success for our students," said Kusendova.
The Grants for Student Needs (GSN) is the primary funding that school boards receive annually. The current GSN information allows school boards to make informed decisions about their budgets for the 2019-2020 school year.
The Ministry of Education provides the majority of its operating funding to Ontario's 72 district school boards through the annual GSN.
"We continue to invest more money into our education system every single year, and we will ensure every dollar helps deliver the results parents and students expect," said Thompson.
The ministry also introduced an International Student Recovery Amount (ISRA). Beginning in 2019-20, a school board’s total GSN operating grants will be reduced by an amount equal to a flat fee of $1,300 multiplied by the international student enrolment, pro-rated where the students are not full-time.
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