Capital Investments Improving Ontario’s Schools
Better buildings support better learning for Ontario students.
Since 2003, the province has provided nearly $16.3 billion in capital funding for school boards to support nearly 810 new schools and over 780 additions and renovations. Of this, almost $5.5 billion is to meet schools renewal needs.
The province is currently in the midst of providing school boards with more than $12 billion over 10 years to help build new schools in areas of high growth, improve the condition of existing schools and invest in projects to reduce surplus space through school consolidations.
Priority Capital Investments
Modern schools and additions better support student achievement and well-being.
Since the Capital Priorities funding program began in 2011, the ministry has provided over $3.0 billion in funding to support 198 new school facilities and 191 additions and renovations at existing schools. These priority capital projects were needed to address enrolment growth, to support full-day kindergarten, to replace schools in poor condition and to support school consolidations.
Included in this amount is $474 million in funding provided to school boards in October 2016 in support of 28 new schools and 23 major additions and renovations.
School Repairs and Renewal
In June 2016, the ministry announced $1.1 billion in funding over two years to address school repairs and renewal projects. This investment will result in critical improvements to key building components that ensure student safety and improve energy efficiency, like roofing, HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. It will also significantly improve more visible elements of schools that impact students’ well-being and public confidence, including flooring, walls, ceilings, playing fields and more. This funding is also in addition to an existing investment of $1.6 billion over the next two years to ensure Ontario’s schools are in a good state of repair.
The Government of Ontario is committed to increasing the transparency of its historic investments in school infrastructure so that Ontarians can see the importance of this funding and the results it yields over time. As part of that commitment, the Ministry of Education is pleased to release the Facility Condition Index .
Child Care Capital
To meet the demands of a growing and changing province, in the September 2016 Speech from the Throne. the Government of Ontario announced a significant investment to enhance child care.
Starting in 2017, Ontario will help to create an additional 100,000 new, licensed child care spaces for infants, toddlers and preschoolers over five years. This commitment will double the current capacity for 0-4 year olds in licensed child care.
As a first step, the government invested $65.5 million to create approximately 3,400 new child care spaces in schools across the province in 2016.
Since 2003–04, the province has doubled child care funding to more than $1 billion annually, and the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to nearly 390,000 an increase of more than 108 per cent.
School Consolidation Capital
In the 2014 Ontario Budget, the province made a commitment to invest $750 million over four years to support school capital projects that reduce excess space.
To date, the ministry has announced approximately $490 million in allocations to support more than 70 consolidation projects that reduce excess space.
Ontario is investing nearly $90 million dollars to support community hubs. The funding will expand child care and child and family support services in local schools and improve community access to school space.
In addition to these investments, regulatory changes will take effect on September 1, 2016. The changes will encourage the creation of community hubs in schools by expanding the list of public organizations that are given an opportunity to purchase or lease surplus school property before it is placed on the open market. Those organizations will also be given more time to place an offer, allowing greater opportunity to consider continued community use.
The government has provided about $1.5 billion in capital funding since 2010 to support the full-day kindergarten (FDK) program. This funding is used by school boards to create the extra classrooms required to accommodate the program and to support the first-time equipping needs of new FDK classrooms. This funding supports the creation of close to 3,500 new kindergarten classrooms, in 3,675 schools, through additions and major retrofits.
- There are over 4,900 publicly funded schools in Ontario (4,000 elementary and 920 secondary schools).
- These schools represent 280 million square feet or 2.2 million pupil places.
- Ontario’s elementary and secondary schools have significant energy costs nearly half a billion dollars each year.