New funding solutions needed for public schools

The TDSB will receive only $74.9-million from the Province this year to take care of its buildings; an amount that would pay for only 2.3% of the $3.3-billion of repairs plaguing TDSB schools. To take care of the entire $3.3-billion repair backlog in TDSB schools, $13,414 of funding must be found for each of the 246,000 TDSB students.

The Province insists the TDSB must fund the repair backlog by selling schools. However, the Province’s math doesn’t add up! Even if the TDSB immediately sells all 130 “empty” schools, there would still be over $1-billion of repairs in the remaining 458 schools.

Kathleen Wynne’s government must start working with the TDSB and the City to secure other funding solutions to address the unacceptable state of disrepair in TDSB schools.

The Province is exploring issuing equity in Hydro One to raise billions of dollars for new transit. The City approved a property tax increase, including a special 0.5% levy to pay for the Scarborough subway. At the City budget meeting on March 11, a motion was also made to explore reinstating the $60 car registration tax. Unfortunately, the TDSB has no power to pursue funding solutions such as these.

Surely, the Province and City believe that public schools are as integral to our public infrastructure as transit and will help secure the required funding to ensure TDSB students attend school in safe, well-maintained buildings?