“We appreciate the work and advice of the Auditor General and her team on how we can continue to improve education in Ontario.
Our commitment to providing students across the province with the opportunity to achieve is unprecedented. As noted in the Auditor General’s report, our government has significantly increased funding in our publicly funded education system. Through these investments, Ontario’s students now consistently rank amongst the highest in national and international student achievement results and more students graduate high school today than at any other time in our province’s history.
Since our government took office, the education funding formula has undergone significant transformation, informed by consultations, independent advice and new data. As mentioned in the report, since 2013, our government has undergone an annual consultation process to update the funding formula and introduce new accountability requirements. As a result, nearly 90% of the funding formula grants have been changed or enhanced since 2013 to better support school boards and student achievement.
These changes include reforms and increases to the special education grant, new funding for special education needs in Northern Ontario, investments in class size reductions, as well as an additional $223 million for the hiring of over 2,400 additional teachers and education workers to support students at risk. Also included in these changes are enhanced support for Indigenous education with the introduction of funding for Indigenous Leads in every school board to be more responsive to Indigenous needs and learning about Indigenous history and cultures.
Apart from funding, we know that educators are one of the essential backbones of our education system. They are a critical component in student success and work tirelessly to make sure that students are engaged and learn the skills they need to succeed. While each school board is responsible for managing and encouraging staff attendance, we remain committed to supporting school boards in practices that support staff attendance as well as their well-being.
We know there is still work to be done to provide more equitable outcomes for students. That’s why we are working closely with our education and community partners towards improving achievement, equity and well-being for all students and staff.”