Over 20 years to fix our schools at this rate

The provincial government has allocated more money to the TDSB to fix its schools than it has in previous years and Fix Our Schools has been given some credit for this move! The TDSB will receive $112-million for “school condition renewal” in 2015-16. This represents a significant increase from the $29-million the TDSB received from Kathleen Wynne’s government this school year and, perhaps, is a small acknowledgment of past underfunding.

So, funding for fixing TDSB schools is heading in the right direction. If we take the $112-million being provided via the Grant for School Condition Improvement and add this to the expected $45.5-million being provided via the annual grant for school renewal, we are looking at a total of $157.5-million/year for the TDSB to fix its schools.

However, at this new level of funding, the current $3.3-billion repair backlog (recently revised from $3-billion based on provincial data) plaguing TDSB schools would take almost 21 years to address. And this, of course, assumes that nothing else goes wrong in a TDSB school for the next two decades. The truth, of course, is that the longer we take to address these repairs, the more complicated and costly they become so we seem to be in a conundrum of never getting ahead of this massive repair backlog.

So while we are thrilled that the provincial government has allocated more money this coming year for the TDSB to fix its schools, we are disappointed that Kathleen Wynne’s government refuses to take accountability for finding a complete funding solution to this massive issue that impacts 247,000 students.