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TDSB’s 2021 School Renewal Needs Backlog Pegged at $3.7 Billion

Thursday, July 8, 2021
Categories: News Releases

The Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) 2021 data reports a system-wide school renewal needs backlog of $3.7 billion, up from $3.6 billion in June 2020.

The Ontario government is responsible for determining the funds for school boards to make school repairs. TDSB’s schools are underfunded and have been for many years. The Board’s repairs backlog was approximately $3.7 billion as of May 2021. For the 2021-2022 school year, the Ministry allocated $275 million to the TDSB, well short of its repairs backlog.

The TDSB continues to advocate for the Ontario government to grant the Board access to Education Development Charges (EDCs) and to allow EDCs to be partially used to repair schools. Given the rate of new residential development in the City of Toronto, if the TDSB had access to EDCs it would generate approximately $500 million in new revenue over the next 15 years – funds that could build new schools and repair existing schools.

The TDSB brought a legal challenge to access EDCs which was heard by the court March 2021. The Ontario government was supported by BILD, an association of land developers in Ontario, an Intervenor in the case. TDSB is disappointed with the Divisional Court’s decision to uphold the government’s right to deny the TDSB access to development charges. The TDSB is reviewing the decision and will be considering an appeal. TDSB Chair Alexander Brown said the Board will continue to use all means at its disposal to advocate for TDSB’s fair access to EDCs.

Chair Brown expressed his appreciation to parent organizations such as Fix Our Schools for their grass roots advocacy work to raise awareness and increase provincial funding for school repairs.

Consistent with the TDSB’s commitment to transparency, accountability and Open Data, the TDSB reports annual system-wide and school-by-school Renewal Needs Backlog (RNB) and the Facility Condition Index(FCI) information. The system-wide data are posted on the TDSB’s website and each school’s data are reported on school websites. The FCI and RNB data correspond to the 2021 calendar year. In 2016, the TDSB became, what is thought to be, the first school board in Ontario to post each school’s FCI rating and RNB.

 

Quick Facts

  • The Renewal Needs Backlog list and the Facility Condition Index rating do not represent a health or safety concern for students or staff.
  • Data is collected by an independent consultant hired by the Ministry of Education.
  • Approximately 50 per cent of our schools are over 60 years old and building components continue to age requiring major repairs or replacement. 64 of our schools are older than 95 years, including seven that were built before 1900.

How to View the Data

You can find the information for your school by name or address by visiting our Find Your School webpage. On each individual school webpage, you will see a “Renewal Needs and FCI” link in the navigation menu on the left side of the page. That link will take you directly to the Renewal Needs Backlog (list of school building repairs) and the Facility Condition Index rating.

Please note that some of the items that would compromise the security of our buildings were redacted. These items include, but are not limited to, security systems and fire alarms, which have access codes included in the data.

Learn more about the Renewal Needs Backlog (RNB), Facility Condition Index (FCI) and Education Development Charges (EDCs).

 

“We need to create more sustainable funding sources to reduce the backlog. It’s time for the provincial government to allow the TDSB to access Education Development Charges (EDCs) to assist with the purchase of future school sites to support our students and growing communities. It’s estimated that EDCs would generate approximately $500 million for the TDSB over the next 15 years.”

-Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB

“At the TDSB, the safety of our school and administrative facilities is a top priority. While the Board is underfunded for repairs, we do make all required repairs to our facilities to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and community visitors. Within the limits of our provincial funding for repairs, we are committed to providing learning environments that support student achievement and well-being.”

-Karen Falconer, Interim Director of Education, TDSB

“The TDSB is the largest school board in Ontario so its multi-billion-dollar list of repairs is extremely concerning. As concerning is that provincial funding has been insufficient to even stem the tide on the upward trend of disrepair in schools. Surely, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the criticality of safe, healthy, well-maintained, and well-ventilated schools? Our provincial government must start prioritizing schools as critical infrastructure and provide the stable funding needed to truly fix Ontario’s schools.”

-Krista Wylie, Co-Founder of Fix Our Schools

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