I have had the Facility Condition Index (FCI) of all our schools posted to my website but as of last Monday, we are proud to be the first school board in Ontario to post to its website (www.tdsb.on.ca
) the list of school building repairs for all of the 588 active schools and the FCI for each of our schools, as determined by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The Board chose to make this data public as part of its commitment to openness and transparency. All of this data was assembled by an independent company retained by the Ontario Ministry of Education (EDU).
The Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB’s) Renewal Needs Backlog (RNB) lists 23,232 different repairs that have been identified in our 588 schools. The total value of those repairs is approximately $3.4 billion. It is because the TDSB did not receive adequate provincial funding to make the needed repairs that the backlog continued to grow. However, we have received additional provincial funding allowing us to invest $579 million in school repairs from September 2015 to August 2017. This will allow us to begin to reduce our RNB.
It is very important to understand that not one of these repairs represents a health or safety concern for our students and staff. In fact, it is because the safety of our schools is a top priority for us at TDSB that our maintenance plans are always focused on providing safe places for our students to learn. Our Facilities staff works all year round to ensure our schools are safe regardless of their FCI rating. Effort is made to repair building components where possible; where a component is beyond repair, it will be scheduled for replacement. In that regard, we schedule maintenance to fix the most critical problems related to the health and safety of our students and staff. Also, while components in a school building may be past their life expectancy, i.e. a water boiler, they are in good repair and meet all required safety codes.
How do you find the FCI/RNB for your school? The 'Find Your School'
page on the TDSB website is where you can choose the school by name or address. On each individual school web page you will see a 'Renewal Needs Backlog' link in the navigation 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 Davisville school does not have an FCI/RNB on its landing page since the school will be rebuilt.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Education
released school board data from across the province. As the largest school board in the country with some of the oldest schools, it’s not surprising we’re highest on the FCI list (highest average FCI) released by the province. As noted above a majority of our close to 600 schools were built in the 50’s and 60’s (some over 100 years old) and are showing their age. While we have received substantial new funding from the province, we need predictable, sustainable funding in the years ahead so that we can lower our current $3.4 billion repair backlog. To read the ministry information for all school boards, click on http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/fci.html
Education Development Charges Would Help Reduce Repairs Backlog
TDSB continues to argue for a change to the provincial Education Development Charges (EDCs) legislation to allow all school boards access to EDC revenue for school capital. Current legislation mandates that EDCs can only be used for the purchase of land to support schools in growth areas, not to support the cost of building new schools or renovating/adding onto existing ones. This needs to change to include repairs and renovations to schools throughout Toronto, especially in high residential growth areas. Toronto is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. Overlooking the use of EDCs to fund badly needed school repairs is a lost opportunity. With access to EDCs for school repairs, millions of dollars in desperately needed revenue could be used to accelerate school repairs and renovations or replacement of older schools. City planning figures indicate that 275,000 residential units are in the building process, which could generate EDC revenue of approximately $300 million in funding for school improvements.
School Repairs Investment Profile (Provincial Government Funding)
- 2015-16 - $156 million
- 2016-17 - $166 million
- 2015-17 – additional funding announced June 27, 2016 - $257 million