Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education announced that two of the 10 projects submitted by the TDSB under the 2019-20 Capital Priorities Grant funding program were approved. The two approved projects are:
- Hodgson MS: funding to expand the previously approved addition by seven additional classrooms to accommodate the rapid shifts in local demographics and residential development in the community. The additional funding allocated by the Ministry is $12.45 million. Read the TDSB’s Hodgson MS submission.
- McKee Public School: funding to build three additional classrooms to accommodate the enrolment pressures in the area. The total funding for this project is $1.48 million. Read the TDSB’s McKee PS submission.
While the TDSB appreciates the funding support from the Province for these capital priorities, the Board continues to advocate for its fair share of capital funding. Out of the $500 million provided for capital improvements to schools across Ontario under the 2019-20 Capital Priorities Grant, only two TDSB projects (totaling $13.93 million) will receive funding from the province.
In addition, the TDSB continues to advocate for access to Education Development Charges (EDCs) and the ability to use Proceeds of Disposition (POD) to fund capital projects to address growth pressures in communities across the City.
- The TDSB is faced with aging infrastructure, a $3.5 billion capital renewal backlog and increased enrolment projections for the future.
- While other Ontario school boards are allowed to collect EDCs, the TDSB does not qualify because it has excess capacity when assessed on a district-wide basis, regardless of significant capacity pressures and challenges faced in many neighborhood schools.
- As per Ministry regulation, PODs can only be used for the repair or replacements of components within an existing school, and require special approval to be used for capital priorities.
“The TDSB welcomes this much needed investment from the Province, but additional funding is required to meet the growth-related infrastructure needs in a number of communities across the TDSB. In terms of McKee PS, I was pleased to see that the much-needed expansion was partially funded, although it is imperative that this project is fully funded to address the enrolment growth in this community.”
– Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB and Trustee, Ward 12
“Located in one of the city’s most densely populated areas, Hodgson MS requires a significant addition to address current and future accommodation needs. The classrooms that will be added thanks to this provincial funding will make a big difference when it comes to accommodating students in this community.”
- Rachel Chernos Lin, Trustee, Ward 11