Ontario is releasing new guidelines to ensure that school fundraising proceeds complement – not replace – public funding for education.
Since 2003, Ontario has increased per student funding by $4,000 or 55 per cent. In March, the government announced that education funding would remain stable to help protect full-day kindergarten, a cap on class sizes and teaching jobs. In addition to this funding, parents support their children's education directly through a variety of fundraising activities.
The province's new Guideline for School Fundraising will help provide greater transparency so parents know how money raised through fundraising is being spent, while giving boards a clear understanding of the acceptable use of fundraising proceeds.
For example, the guideline states that fundraising proceeds cannot be used for items that are already publicly funded, like classroom learning materials and capital projects. They also recommend that school boards post an annual report of fundraising proceeds and post their fundraising policies on their websites to increase accountability and transparency.
Ensuring fundraising activities are transparent and reflect the values and expectations of the school community is part of the McGuinty government's plan to maintain a strong, successful education system.
"We know that parents are deeply committed to their children's education and fundraising is one of the ways they demonstrate their commitment. These guidelines will help school boards determine the best way to use fundraising proceeds, while giving parents peace of mind knowing their fundraising efforts are benefiting their child's education."
– Laurel Broten
Minister of Education
The proposed 2012-13 Grants for Student Needs (GSN) is approximately $21 billion – up $6.5 billion, or 45 per cent, since 2003.
The government's increased investments in education have helped support student achievement, including higher test scores and a high school graduation rate of 82 per cent in 2010-11.
In 2011, the government released Ontario's first guideline for school fees.
Draft guidelines on school Corporate Partnerships will be available for consultation in 2012.