A new goal for public education: Schools at the centre
Annual report on Ontario’s publicly funded schools 2010
People for Education, 2010.
Using data from the People for Education Annual School Survey, as well as information from the EQAO, Statistics Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Education, this report examines the state of everything from school libraries to special eduation programs in Ontario schools.
Among the findings:
- Ministry of Education data show that 94.6% of Ontario students attend publicly-funded schools, a percentage that has remained relatively steady since 2001/02.
- The average elementary school has 14% fewer students than it did in 1997/98 when the funding formula was developed.
- Reports from boards across the province shows that 160 schools are closing or recommended to close from 2010 onward.
- Province-wide, 40% of elementary schools have a Health and Physical Education teacher, a percentage which hasn’t changed since 1998.
- Only 29% of elementary schools in northern Ontario have a specialist Health and Physical Education teacher, compared to 64% of elementary schools in the GTA.
- Only 2% of northern elementary schools have psychologists regularly scheduled, compared to 65% of GTA elementary schools.
- 48% of secondary schools have regularly scheduled child and youth workers, a steady improvement since 2002/03 when only 20% had regular access.
- Since 2002/03 there has been a 33% decline in the total number of elementary and secondary students on waiting lists for special education services or support.
- Only 57% of elementary schools have a teacher-librarian, most of them part-time, compared to 80% in 1997/98.
- 68% of secondary schools have a teacher-librarian, either full– or part-time, compared to 78% in 2000/01.
- 46% of elementary schools have a Music teacher, compared to 58% in 1997/98.
- 54% of secondary schools charge fees for art classes and 23% charge fees for music classes.
- 26% of English-language elementary schools with 10 or more students who require English Language support have no specialist ESL teacher, an increase from 22% with no teacher last year.
- 35% of elementary schools with on site child care report they have a system to keep track of children with special needs as they leave child care and enter the school system.
- The majority of school councils list enhancing communication as their most important role, but report spending the most time on fundraising.
- 84% of councils report that their principals always or often notify them about education policy changes; 59% say they hear about changes from their school boards, and 34% report the Ministry of Education notifies them always or often.
- 89% of schools fundraise. Of those, 53% raise money for library books, 42% for art and music, and 40% for computers, text books and classroom supplies.
- 71% of Ontario high schools charge fees for athletics; the top amount charged doubled from $250 in 2002, to $500 in 2009.