100 signatures reached
To: Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Support Our Schools with Education Development Charges
We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
That the members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario amend Provincial legislation to allow the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to access Education Development Charges revenues and to enable the TDSB to apply EDC funds to school capital and site related costs.
WHEREAS, provincial underfunding for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has often exceeded $109 million;
WHEREAS, the budgetary constraints on the TDSB has resulted in a growing backlog of facilities’ maintenance and repair of over $3 billion;
WHEREAS, Education Development Charges (EDCs) are fees from developers of new residential units and used by school boards to fund growth-related education land costs;
WHEREAS, the requirements of current legislation does not allow the TDSB to collect Education Development Charges while the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) can, and EDC revenues may only be used for the purchase and upgrading of new land;
WHEREAS, the TDSB urgently needs more funds to finance infrastructure requirements to accommodate new growth and the use of schools as community hubs;
WHEREAS, the TDSB could generate at least $300 million in EDC revenues to support essential school infrastructure needs and support our students;
Why is this important?
When Kathleen Wynne was elected Premier back in 2013 she promised to invest $ 1.25 billion for infrastructure spending for Ontario schools. This funding was important but was never enough to address the backlog in repairs needed for school boards across Ontario. The TDSB alone needs more than $ 3.8 billion in repairs to make schools safe for our children.
The TDSB as the largest school board in the country and one of the oldest faces not only aging infrastructure but also funding policies that are sadly out of date. In downtown Toronto, schools which are in need of infrastructure spending are also over or near student capacity. Because it is easier to move students rather than schools, the TDSB needs help from the province to address these issues.
At present the provincial government levies an Education Development Charge (EDC) on any new development in Ontario. The developer is charged for every new residential unit sold. Under current legislation, EDCs cannot be used by the TDSB to fund capital repairs. We need a policy change at the provincial level. It is time for the province to review policies that tie the hands of the TDSB and to prepare for future growth in the city. The province needs to develop innovative ways to help the TDSB address its fiscal problems.
Premier Wynne was once a TDSB Trustee and knows the problems and difficulties that face the largest school board in Canada. We need her government to work with the Board and the City to address funding, development and planning issues.
How it will be delivered
We will deliver this petition by email and in person.