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New Funding Strategy Needed for School Repairs as TDSB’s Backlog Hits $3.7 Billion

Friday, November 10, 2017
Categories: News Releases

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has released its annual school-by-school Facility Condition Index (FCI) rating of its school buildings. The information also includes the Renewal Needs Backlog (RNB) for each of the Board’s 584 schools.

As of September 2017, the TDSB’s repair backlog is $3.7 billion, up from $3.5 billion last year. This amount includes repairs needed in the current school year. Province-wide, the school repairs backlog is over approximately $15 billion.

Historically, the TDSB has been underfunded by the provincial government. In recent years, funding levels have improved. For the 2017-2018 school year, the TDSB received $297 million in provincial funding; however, this amount is not enough to keep pace with the accumulated backlog and future repair needs. Without adequate and predictable funding for school repairs, the RNB will continue growing to an estimated $5.25 billion by 2021.

Parents have become increasingly concerned about funding for school repairs. Groups such as Fix our Schools have joined forces with school boards to advocate for additional provincial funding, including the use of Educational Development Charges (EDCs) revenue for school repairs. In addition, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association is asking the Ministry to review the current EDC regulation to allow school boards more flexibility. Earlier this week, Toronto City Council approved a request for the provincial government to amend this regulation to allow the TDSB to collect EDCs from developers. Unlike other Ontario school boards, the TDSB does not qualify for EDCs, which puts the TDSB at a disadvantage. Revenues from EDCs would help reduce both the FCI and RNB.

The annual posting of the FCI and RNB on the TDSB website aligns with the Board’s commitment to be open and transparent with parents, students and community members about the condition of its schools and needed repairs. Approximately 50% of TDSB schools are over 60 years old and building components continue to age, requiring major repairs or replacement.

While the Ministry’s FCI is based on a five-year inspection cycle, TDSB’s data is based on one year and includes repairs done during the year. These repairs do not represent a health or safety concern for students or staff.

To view the data and learn more about this topic, please visit the Renewal Needs Backlog and Facilities Condition Index page on the TDSB website.

Quick Facts

  • Based on the total number of units under construction, proposed or planned across the city, it is estimated that the TDSB could generate approximately $300 million through Education Development Charges to help support urgent school infrastructure needs.
  • TDSB’s $3.7 billion school repair backlog is about 24.7% of the province’s estimated $15 billion repair backlog.
  • School Year          Provincial Grant        Backlog (as of September)

            2017-2018              $297 Million                $3.7 billion

            2016-2017              $308 Million                $3.5 billion

            2015-2016              $276 Million                $3.4 billion

“Our backlog is $3.7 billion and continues to grow. Additional provincial funding and a new funding strategy with new sources of revenue is needed. Allowing the TDSB access to Education Development Charges to repair and replace schools would be a good start.”

- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB

“Parents want to know the condition of their child’s schools, what we are doing to improve schools and the limitations we face with current funding levels.”

- John Malloy, Director, TDSB

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and to acquire the knowledge, skills
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