Toronto’s public schools are short hundreds of millions in dollars that ought to have been collected for infrastructure according to a report released today, “The Missing Money Our Schools Need Now: Education Development Charges in Toronto.”
The report finds that developers paid zero dollars in Educational Development Charges (EDCs) to Toronto’s public schools for over 20 years. Over the same period, the Toronto Catholic District School Board collected and invested EDC revenue of over $204 million. The cause is an antiquated provincial regulation that excludes the TDSB but not the TCDSB from collecting from developers.
COVID-19 has parents, teachers and school boards looking for solutions to problems including overcrowding in schools, working windows, inadequate lunchroom space, dated HVAC systems, long bus rides and systemic inequities.
Fix Our Schools, the Broadbent Institute and Progress Toronto launched a petition calling on the Ontario Government to amend the provincial regulation and allow the Toronto District School Board to begin collecting development charges and invest immediately in school retrofits, repairs and expansions.
“The overcrowded and crumbling schools in growing neighbourhoods is an equity issue. Toronto had 150 over-capacity schools before the COVID-19 shutdown and the pandemic has only exposed the public health risk of packed schools and infrastructure that is in disrepair. The missing money is creating another systemic barrier standing in the way of building healthy, inclusive communities, at the expense of equity-seeking communities.” Saman Tabasinejad, Progress Toronto
“We can fix our schools by fixing this outdated regulation. Our schools are old and cramped because developers exploited a loophole, pocketing hundreds of millions that should have gone to make our kids’ schools safe.” Katrina Miller, Broadbent Institute
“Our call for action has support from left-wing City Councillors to Conservative MPPs. Developers profit from building near good public schools and transit. These same developers ought to contribute monetarily to this public infrastructure. The fact that developers in Toronto have gotten away for so long without contributing one penny to public schools is maddening when so many Toronto schools are overcrowded and in disrepair.” Krista Wylie, Fix Our Schools
About the Broadbent Institute
The Broadbent Institute is Canada’s leading progressive, independent organization championing change through the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability and the training of a new generation of leaders.
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