Tag Archives: FCI

How to find the repair backlog for your local school

In Ontario, our children attend poorly maintained schools. Unfortunately, children do not remember a time when this was not the case. They expect their schools to be broken. As parents, grandparents, teachers, and caretakers, we know the schools are in poor condition because the Ontario Education Funding formula is broken.

Since our children don’t expect state-of-the-art schools, they rarely report the poor environment they learn in every day. How can you find out what the real condition is at your local school?

In August 2016, The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) led the way in transparency, when it released detailed information on disrepair in its schools, which included definitions and context for understanding both the Facility Condition Index (FCI)  and the Renewal Needs BacklogThe information provided in these links is valuable for ALL Ontario citizens and helps all of us to understand the complicated process used by the provincial government to assess school disrepair.

Feeling pressure to follow suit, the Ministry of Education released an FCI list for all Ontario schoolsThis chart provides information on each Ontario school such as replacement value, renewal (repair) costs and FCI rating.

Check with your school board to see if you can access more detailed information such as the TDSB has provided its communities. For example, the TDSB has given a list of specific repairs needed for each school, which is very helpful for school councils to advocate for their school. Parents should know if the standpipe system that helps to put out fires needs urgent repairs! Other school boards can access that information as well; school councils can ask to see it.

For TDSB schools, start by finding your school here

Next, from your school’s homepage, you’ll see a link to the “Schools Repairs List” on the left-hand side of the screen. Click there to find a detailed list of outstanding repairs at your local schools.

Be informed. Let’s advocate for our local schools. Let’s fix our schools. 

Send us your story on Facebook. Share with us the issues you are having getting your local school fixed. 

If you’re surprised by the disrepair in your local school…

The TDSB was the first Ontario school board to release information about disrepair in all of its schools, with complete itemized lists of outstanding repairs along with an indication of whether each repair is urgent, high, medium or low priority. We expect that many citizens will be surprised to see the long lists of outstanding repairs at their local schools.

We urge you to contact your local MPP, the Minister of Education and Premier Wynne to express your concern. Certainly copy the Principal, Superintendent and Trustee for your local school on any correspondence however these people do not have the power to fix the problem, which stems from years of underfunding by the provincial government.

Local school boards have no way to raise money for repairing schools except to rely on the funding provided by the Ontario government. While provincial funding was recently increased to an industry-accepted level of yearly funding for repairs, this new level of funding does not address the $15-billion of disrepair in Ontario schools that has been allowed to accumulate over the past two decades. To adequately address this backlog will require further work by Premier Wynne’s government so be sure to let your MPP know this is an issue of importance to you!

TDSB first to make disrepair information public for each of its schools

Fix Our Schools commends the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for taking a leadership position and being the first school board in Ontario to voluntarily publish detailed information on the disrepair in each of its 588 schools.

The Ministry of Education has been collecting data on outstanding repairs at all Ontario schools for the past five years but has not shared this important information publicly. Our hope is that all of Ontario’s school boards will follow TDSB’s lead and become more transparent with disrepair information since every single one of them has a repair backlog. Similarly, we would expect the Ontario government to make information on disrepair in schools readily available to parents and citizens.

Only when the general public knows there is a problem can the problem be fixed. For too long and for a variety of reasons, the issue of disrepair in Ontario’s schools has not received much attention. Therefore, this step by the TDSB is a crucial one in raising awareness on the issue of disrepair in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.

By visiting the TDSB website and clicking School Repairs List or by visiting the TDSB Home Page for an individual school, parents and citizens can readily find:

  • a complete list of outstanding repairs for a school along with a ranking of whether the repair is classified as urgent, high, medium or low
  • a Facility Condition Index (FCI) number, expressed as a percentage. FCI is calculated by taking the total dollar amount of a school’s repair backlog and dividing that total by the dollar figure of how much it would cost to replace that school (rebuild from new). For instance if there is $1-million of disrepair at a school and the estimated cost of rebuilding that school is $5-million, then the FCI would be 20% whereas if that same school had $4-million of disrepair, then its FCI ranking would be 80%. A higher FCI percentage generally indicates a larger dollar value of disrepair at that school.