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Ministry of Education Cuts Specialized Program Grants – Impact on the Toronto District School Board

Friday, December 21, 2018
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB

On Friday, December 14, the Ministry of Education announced that $25 million in Specialized Program Grants funding would be cut, affecting all Ontario school boards. Given the timing of this notification from the Ministry, Toronto District School Board staff has been analyzing the impact of the cuts on our students and schools.

Based upon the limited information the TDSB has received from the Ministry of Education, at this time we estimate that the total funding of provincial grant cancellations is $744,500 (Programs in TABLE 1).


  • Grant cancellations include the Focus on Youth After School Program (75 students will not be hired as a result of this funding cancellation – see list of Grants Cancelled in 2018-19 below).
  • Tutors in the Classroom Program (52 tutors, college or university students, will not be hired as a result of this funding cancellation.
  • Since there were no Transfer Payment Agreements (TPAs) between the Ministry and the TDSB for 2018-19 and since no provincial funding had arrived, the Board was cautioned by the Ministry to not proceed with these programs pending further notice.
  • Estimates of provincial grant cancellations are based upon the 2017-18 funding level.
  • Many programs will be continuing with funding amounts not known at this time.
  • As reported, a number of programs/funding were announced in March 2018. The status of these programs is not known at this time.

A more detailed report on the December 14th Ministry announcement will be presented to our trustees at the January meeting of the Finance, Business and Enrolment Committee.


“We’re disappointed to learn of these cuts as many of the program/funding cancellations were aimed at helping youth-at-risk. The Board’s experience has been that these programs make a positive difference. We continue to be concerned that any cuts made in the middle of the school year may negatively impact our students.”


Grants Cancelled in 2018-19

(There were no transfer payment agreements for these grants – Transfer Payment Agreements (TPAs) are formal funding agreements outlining service expectations and reporting requirements of the grant. The TDSB was cautioned by the Ministry to not proceed with these programs pending further notice. This table includes the funding levels provided by the Ministry in the 2017-18 school year.)


2017-2018 Funded Amount


Focus on Youth After School

(Provides employment and leadership opportunities for youth in priority neighbourhoods)


75 students will not be hired as a result of this funding cancellation

Re-engagement 12-12+

(Encourage students that have left school to return to complete diploma requirements)


Ministry Cancelled Funding

Innovation in Learning Fund

(Professional Development for Digital Lead Administrators – Principals & Vice Principals)


Ministry Cancelled Funding

Tutors in the Classroom

(College & University Students Tutor students)


52 tutors (college or university students) will not be hired as a result of this funding cancellation

Pilots on Ensuring Equitable Access to Postsecondary Education

(Assists with preparing and submitting post-secondary applications)


Ministry Cancelled Funding

Daily Physical Activity Funding for Elementary Schools


Ministry Cancelled Funding

Indigenous Focused Collaborative Inquiry (Professional Development for Teachers)


Ministry Cancelled Funding

Total Funding in 2017-2018




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To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being
and to acquire the knowledge, skills
and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of
a democratic and sustainable society.
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