Trustees with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) have approved the Board’s Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy (LTPAS) for 2020-2029.
The strategy, which is aligned with the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan, outlines program and student accommodation studies to be conducted over the next ten years, allows the TDSB to develop plans to balance enrolment and increase access to programs and opportunities for all students.
In order to ensure all students have equitable access to programs and schools, Trustees also approved the final report of the Secondary Program Review. This process is closely aligned with the LTPAS and has laid the groundwork for creating a system of strong neighbourhood secondary schools that provide rich programming and increased access to courses that support all pathways. Demographic changes and new developments have put substantial pressure on local schools in high-density areas across the city, forcing the TDSB to adopt different accommodation strategies for managing enrolment growth. These include redirecting students from new residential developments to other TDSB schools located outside the area, the use of portables, and program and school boundary changes.
One important component of the LTPAS is the identification of capital priority projects. The TDSB must rely on provincial capital grants or revenue generated from the sale of properties to fund much needed projects such as new builds, additions and other capital upgrades. Since the opportunity to submit capital grant applications is at the discretion of the government and very few TDSB projects are approved, many projects cannot move forward.
Putting additional pressure on the implementation of capital priority projects is the fact that while other school boards in Ontario are allowed to collect Education Development Charges (EDCs), the TDSB does not qualify, which puts it at a disadvantage. The TDSB continues direct discussions with the Ontario Government as well as legal proceedings challenging the EDCs regulation (Ontario Reg. 20/98), which does not permit it to collect these critical funds.
- The Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy (LTPAS) is updated annually and presented to the Board of Trustees for approval.
- Without restrictions found in Section 10 of Ontario Reg. 20/98, the TDSB would qualify for EDCs and generate revenue of approx. $500 million over the next 15 years.
“While this long-term plan looks at program and accommodation reviews, as well as capital priority projects, it’s about students and making sure that we’re supporting them through access to programs. Parents and guardians are an important part of this process and we want to hear from them as part of upcoming reviews in the months and years ahead.”
- Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB
“Whether it is changing demographics or enrolment fluctuations, the TDSB’s Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy looks at a number of different factors that are critical in planning for the future. At its core is ensuring that all students have equitable access to great programming wherever they may live.”
- Dr. Kathy Witherow, Interim Director of Education, TDSB