Ask your MPP candidate to eliminate our School Repairs Backlog

Ask your MPP candidate to eliminate our School Repairs Backlog

Please ask your MPP (and your riding’s June 2018 MPP election campaign candidates) to pledge to:

  1. support the development of an Ontario-wide “State of Good Repair Standard” for all publicly funded schools so that these public assets are safe, healthy, well-maintained buildings that provide environments conducive to learning and working and that they will
  2. support the provision of adequate, stable funding needed to ensure that by 2022 all Ontario schools meet this “State of Good Repair Standard”.     

Then, let us know what they say!   Refer them to the comprehensive study of Ontario’s school repairs and maintenance backlog which has been carried out by economist Hugh Mackenzie.    His report details how the next Ontario government could eliminate the school repairs and maintenance problem.

Building on the Mackenzie report, and in conjunction with the Fix Our Schools Campaign, Campaign for Public Education is now engaged in a province-wide campaign to completely eliminate the repairs and maintenance backlog in Ontario’s schools.

Years of inadequate public education funding under a badly outdated Ministry of Education funding formula have put many of Ontario’s 72 school boards in the position of having to choose between instructional programming for students and facility maintenance.

The choice to defer maintenance expenditures and renewal investments to protect student instructional programs was highlighted in the December 2002 report of the Education Equality Task Force (known as the Rozanski Report), which identified a deferred maintenance backlog estimated at $5.6 billion and growing.

Despite several rounds of special funding aimed at school facility renewal over the ensuing 15 years, the backlog, as measured by the Ministry, has grown consistently, and now stands at $15.9 billion.[1]

A 2015 report from Ontario’s Auditor-General zeros in on the chronic underfunding by our provincial government that has led to the rapid and continuous increase of disrepair in Ontario’s schools, “An independent assessment calculated that the Ministry of Education needs $1.4 billion a year to maintain schools in a state of good repair.

However, actual funding in the last five years has ranged from $150 million to $500 million.” In the three years between 2011 – 2014, provincial funding to school boards for school renewal was only $150 million per year – roughly one-tenth of what the Auditor-General’s Report indicated was needed. Cumulatively, between 2011-2014, provincial funding ought to have been $4.2-billion in total but was only $450 million, a funding shortfall of $3.6 billion for school repairs over only three years.

[1] Even this figure is an understatement. Of the 4,636 schools in the detailed database released in 2017, no data on renewal needs was reported for 346, of which 284 were shown as not having been assessed.