Funding formula refresher course

KELLY GRANT  Globe & Mail April 19, 2008

In 1998, Mike Harris's Conservative government took taxing power away from local school boards and established a new education-funding formula. Now, Queen's Park sets the education-tax rate and largely dictates how boards spend the money. The funding formula, which sets guidelines – with some flexibility – for what boards spend on essentials such as class supplies and English-as-a-second-language instructors, does not cover school swimming pools.

On Wednesday, the Toronto District School Board, the only board in Ontario with pools in schools, appointed former Toronto mayor David Crombie to lead talks among the city, the province and the board to try to rescue the pools. For now, the board is slated to drain 23 school pools in June and 16 more next year.