As part of the Ontario Legislature’s pre-budget consultation process, the Finance and Economic Affairs Committee held hearings across the province seeking input into this spring’s upcoming budget. The committee, comprised of a majority of government PC MPPs and a minority of the official opposition NDP MPPs, heard from OSSTF/FEESO at its Kitchener-Waterloo stop. With neither the Liberal Party nor Green Party recognized as an official party in the Legislature, neither is represented on the committee.
OSSTF/FEESO’s submission called on the government to:
- Fully implement the recommendations of the Rozanski Report.
- Immediately review and redesign the funding model that meets the needs of students and education workers to ensure that Ontario remains one of the top jurisdictions in the world for education.
- Rework the Student Foundation Grant to ensure that:
- Each school is funded for a minimum complement of custodians, teacher-librarians, guidance teachers, teachers and education support staff,
- Community schools become community hubs and are not closed.
- Reintroduce a Local Priorities Amount as a percentage of Pupil Foundation Grant funding to allow school boards to address local needs.
- Ensure the funding to school boards from all sources for non-credit continuing education is sufficient to provide teachers the adequate tools and time to deliver a successful program.
- Increase funding to the Continuing Education and Other Programs Grant through a revised ADE amount to provide parity for adult day school teachers and regular day school teachers.
Abandon the DSENA funding model in favour of a funding model that reflects the individual requirements of high needs students to ensure better student outcomes and a safe school environment.
Adjust the Teacher Qualifications and Experience Grant so that school boards are appropriately funded to meet
In the post-secondary sector, OSSTF/FEESO called on the government to:
- Create and fund a mechanism that recognizes non-academic staff form an integral part of the university so that universities can employ and pay for appropriate staff;
- Reduce the reliance on tuition fees for post-secondary education by providing appropriate funding, thus allowing all Ontarians to attend a college or university, regardless of economic status;
- Compel universities to report publicly to the provincial government their allocations from public and private funds to appropriate expenditures and promote transparency;
- Consult with stakeholders on a yearly basis regarding funding issues and changes to funding.
OSSTF/FEESO’s full presentation is available at www.osstf.on.ca/submission-jan-2019.
Premier Doug Ford’s PC government is expected to release its budget sometime in late March or April.