Ontario Increasing Funding to Boost Reading, Writing and Math

In Provincial

Getting back-to-basics supported by the largest education investment in Ontario history

With a focus on going back-to-basics and preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, the Ontario government is increasing Core Education Funding for the coming school year by $745 million compared to 2023-24. Together with other investments, this represents $29 billion in total education funding and the largest investment in Ontario’s education system.

Ontario’s plan will support getting back-to-basics, provide mental health supports and build more schools, faster. For the 2024-25 school year, the Ontario government’s investments include:

  • $34 million to support the hiring of 300 school math facilitators
  • $13.5 million to fund school board math leads with a singular mandate to improve math skills
  • $68.68 million for education staff to provide reading supports, including the hiring of over 600 more specialized educators
  • $12.5 million for reading intervention support licences and $12.5 million for reading screening tools, so that every Senior Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 child benefits from screening this coming school year
  • An additional $80 million for the student transportation allocation, now at $1.3 billion, to better support reliable and safe transportation for students
  • $10 million in new funding for school security infrastructure, including vape detectors
  • $2.9 billion as part of the School Facilities Fund for operating, maintaining, renovating, and renewing school buildings
  • Special Education funding is being increased to $3.5 billion, which includes an $11.5 million investment to support school boards’ ability to conduct professional assessments to hire more staff to help reduce wait times for speech and language supports. An additional $10 million this year is being invested as part of the Special Incidence Portion (SIP) modernization to support students with extraordinarily high needs.
  • Mental Health funding is being increased to $117.65 million, an increase of 577 per cent since 2017-18. This includes $14 million that will provide students with mental health services over the summer months, including access to school-based mental health professionals, targeted programs and supports year-round in response to recommendations from families and student trustees.

In addition to Core Education Funding projected to be more than $28.6 billion in the next school year, Ontario is also projected to invest $403 million in 2024-25 for Responsive Education Programs and Funding to External Partners. This investment supports high impact initiatives through the province’s collaboration with education partners. This includes more than 150 projects focused on a wide range of themes, including student readiness, STEM, Indigenous education, mental health, literacy, French-language education, supporting vulnerable students and operations.

The province recently undertook a comprehensive review of education funding and recommended changes. The new Core Education Funding model now clearly identifies key funding pillars which support students – from classroom staffing to school board administration. These changes make it easier for parents and guardians to understand how funding is allocated and strengthens school board accountability on how these funds are spent.

“As we go back to basics in Ontario schools, we are stepping up with additional investment to boost reading, writing, math, and other STEM disciplines,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We are also delivering a more transparent funding model while continuing to increase investment in publicly funded schools to the highest levels ever recorded, so that all students can graduate into good-paying careers. With historic investments to strengthen literacy and math skills, we are ensuring Ontario classrooms focus on improving the academic achievement of every Ontario student.”

In addition to the new funding model, Ontario is investing $1.3 billion through the 2023-24 Capital Priorities Program creating more than 27,000 new student spaces and more than 1,700 child care spaces. This is more than double the investment compared to last year and is the largest one-year funding commitment to new school construction in Ontario’s history. The province is investing a total of $1.4 billion in 2024-25 to help school boards revitalize and renew aged building systems and components. This is part of the province’s ongoing capital renewal funding initiative.

Quick Facts

  • For the 2024-25 school year, the Ministry of Education has updated the formulas in the Core Education Funding using most recent 2021 census data from Statistics Canada that better reflect the needs of students and school boards.
  • Ontario provides annual funding for the province’s 72 district school boards and 10 school authorities to deliver education programs and services to more than two million students.
  • Last year, The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 was passed to enhance transparency and strengthen accountability in schools. The goal is to ensure that all parts of the province’s publicly funded education system are collectively focused on what matters most: improving student achievement.
  • In 2023, Ontario unveiled its plan to build modern schools faster. The new measures will reduce construction timelines by up to 50 per cent and get shovels in the ground more quickly.
  • Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested more than $3.64 billion in capital construction projects in education, including 139 new schools, 109 additions and renovations to existing facilities and over 8,000 new licensed child care spaces.
Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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