Final Ward Meeting - May 30th - Budget Discussion
Final Ward Meeting - May 30th - Budget Discussion
Ward 16 newletter header

Welcome Warm Weather!

Spring has finally arrived and with it the season for School Fun Fairs, Celebrations, and Graduations. It is a busy time of year! Below I have summarized significant celebrations and upcoming events in our Ward 16 Community. I have also provided an update on the current TDSB Budget Process and how you can have a voice in the TDSB Budget, participate in Provincial Consultations, and other education advocacy resources.
Ward Meeting!
Please join me for my final Ward meeting of the school year on Thursday May 30th at 6:30pm at Adam Beck Jr. P.S. The topics for Thursday's meeting will include updates on changes to Education Funding and the TDSB Budget. All are welcome.
Childcare and Refreshments will be provided.
Bike to School Week and Digital Literacy Week! - May 27th - 31st
Bike to School Week builds on the success of Bike Month (May 27th - June 30th), a month-long campaign that encourages residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to engage in active transportation. We hope you and your school are actively participating! More information and resources HERE.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Families and Educators for Safe Cycling - a partnership between CultureLink Settlement & Community Services, Cycle Toronto, and the Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank - there is also a new Cycling Handbook - Family Edition to help keep you and yours safe on the road.
The TDSB launched Digital Literacy Week in Toronto with our Excellence Award Winner & IT Executive Officer Peter Singh and our City of Toronto, Toronto Library, and TCDSB partners⁩ - promoting literacy in a digital age so students are prepared to engage, contribute, & transform our evolving society. More than 3000 students from 110 schools will participate in virtual fieldtrips lead by experts across North America. More information HERE.
 Wednesday May 29th, 9am - 3pm: Responsible Digital Citizenship: Practical Tools for Information Literacy in an Age of Misinformation – Being able to determine what is fact or fiction online has become an essential skill of responsible citizenship in the digital age. Students need to think critically and develop the habits to verify information, establish a trusted list of sources, and to share news and information responsibly. Visit this exploration classroom to see why this is important in a Grade 10 Canadian History Class, and how these skills are making a difference for students.
Location:      East York Collegiate Institute, 650 Cosburn Ave, East York
Contact:        Kevin Bradbeer, Senior Manager, Client Relationships, 416-436-9223
TDSB Celebrates Pride - June 2019
Our TDSB community has a rich culture and history of celebrating diversity and our LGBTQ community every day. Learn more about the history of Pride by visiting Pride Toronto and learn more about how we celebrate at the TDSB
Help us create a slogan for June’s Pride celebrations at the TDSB! Send your ideas to and keep your eyes open for a student t-shirt design competition and parade details! Toronto's annual Pride Parade will take place on Sunday, June 23, 2019, and a proud TDSB contingent of students, staff, Trustees and community members will be taking part, just like we've done every year since 2000. 
Italian Heritage and Portuguese Speaking Heritage Month at the TDSB - June 2019
This year the theme of Italian Heritage Month is Italy: Viva L’Italia: Celebrating Italian Cultural Heritage. Across the month of June the TDSB will celebrate the spirited culture and traditions of the Italian community with students, staff and the TDSB community. Launch Event - Thursday, June 6, 2019, 1 - 2 p.m at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute (640 Lawrence Avenue West). More information and events HERE.
This year’s theme for Portuguese Speaking Heritage Month  is “One language uniting cultures/Uma língua a unir culturas.” The contributions of the Portuguese Speaking community to Canada’s history are vast as it includes the arts, sports, medicine, and public life. More information and events HERE.
Portugal Day Parade
Date: Sunday, June 9, 2019, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Along Dundas Street West, from Lansdowne Avenue to Crawford Street
TDSB Meeting Location: Gather at 9:30 a.m. at the south east corner of Lansdowne and Bloor West

Ward 16 News & Events
Congratulations are in order for a number of our Ward 16 students and staff. Their hard work and dedication are an inspiration to all of us and provide wonderful examples of the success of our school communities:
  • The Glen Ames Guardians of the Galaxsee Robotics Team make History! Competing against 70 International teams the Guardians took first place in the Project Presentation category at the FIRST Lego League Open Championships in Carlsbad, California on May 17 to 20. They are the first TDSB team to win an international competition. I had the pleasure of a personal presentation of the Guardian's skills last month and their success is well deserved.
  • The African Heritage Educators Network (AHEN), a non-profit group working to address issues impacting students of African descent recognized 235 TDSB students for demonstrating excellence in a number of categories including many students from our Ward 16 Schools. Read more about the Black Student Recognition Awards.
  • Congratulations to Malvern's Co-Ed Volleyball Team for winning the City Championship!
  • Congratulations to Kew Beach's lunchroom supervisor Cheryl for earning a TDSB Service Excellence Award! Cheryl was nominated for her dedication to student wellbeing and her selfless investement in Kew's school community. Excellence Winners were selected from more than 275 Board-wide nominations.
  • Another successful year for TDSB students at the Special Olympics. From May 14 to 17, ten Toronto District School Board (TDSB) schools, 124 students, and 28 coaches attended the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games.TDSB students won 73 medals: 23 bronze, 25 silver and 25 gold in Athletics;  two bronze in Basketball;  two  bronze in Bocce one gold, one silver and two bronze in Soccer and one gold in Floor Hockey. More Information Here.

Fun Fairs, Carnivals, & Festivals

Tis the season once again for school fun fairs!
A great deal of hard work and community involvement goes into the planning and execution of our local family fun fairs. These events bring our local parents, organizations, and businesses together for family-friendly fun and community interaction while raising funds for special school projects. My six year old is excited to be my escort this year as we make the rounds to each of these fun events.
To help keep track of all the events going on I've added the fun fairs to a Ward 16 School Community Calendar HERE or you can find updates on our Ward 16 Facebook page. 
School councils that wish to share posters, details, or social media posts for their events can forward to me at or contact and we'll do our best to share the information with the Ward 16 community.
Earl Haig Public School Would like to invite Ward 16 families to their Spring Festival on June 6th at 3:30pm. You can check out their events page Here. 

School Walk-in

Parent and school communities across the GTA and within Ward 16 will be staging a School Walk-in on June 6th. School community members will be meeting in the morning before school (7:45 - 8am) to distribute information, march, and support public education and to raise awareness around the recent changes to education funding, curriculum, class sizes, childcare funding, autism funding, public health, and other programs that impact our world class public education system. 
More information including a list of registered schools can be found at Area schools already registered include Adam Beck, Bowmore Rd., Duke of Connaught, Gledhill, Kew Beach, Secord E.S., and Riverdale C.I.

Additional information and resources can be found from West End Parents for Public Education and our local East End Parents 4 Public Education.
TDSB Budget Process (ongoing)
The TDSB Budget process would normally begin in October of each year with work progressing in collaboration with the Ministry of Education over many months. Due to the unusually late timing of Provincial Education Funding announcements (April 2019) and the significant in-year changes to the education funding structure the TDSB has had to take a different approach to the overall budget process. We began with setting and consulting on Strategic Budget Drivers (thank-you to the thousands of consultation participants) and have now progressed to working on a balanced 2019-20 budget with multiple avenues for public input.
Changes to Provincial education funding mean the TDSB is faced with an unprecidented $67.8 million funding shortfall compared to 2018-19. Since 85% of our costs are 'fixed' (by Legislation or Collective agreement) we have limited ability to reduce spending on this scale in one year. Staff began by proposing central operating, staff, and service cuts of ~$30 million but still needed $38 million in service and program reductions to produce a balanced budget. This initial budget included increasing our international student capacity and signficant cuts to transportation and cuts or changes to optional programs (international languages, IB, outdoor education), however the Board asked staff to go back to the drawing Board to provide information on all available spending. Some of the options being considered include deferring transportation cuts to year 2 and further reductions to professional development and Professional support staff. Further proposals are expected at the next budget meeting on June 3rd. Nothing is final until a balanced budget is approved by the whole Board.
We need to hear from our school communities. Feedback and suggestions for budget substitutions are welcome in writing ( or or in person (public delegation on June 3rd and 11th). You can also attend my Ward Meeting on May 30th (6:30pm at Adam Beck) to discuss the budget with our local community.
The next finance and budget meetings will be held in the Boardroom at 5050 Yonge St:
Monday, June 3 at 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 11 at 4:30 p.m.
Please note that the above meetings regarding the 2019-20 budget will be videotaped and archived.
Requests to speak in person must be submitted in writing to Governance and Board Services by 4 p.m., two working days before the committee meeting day. Learn more about the delegation process.

Questions about the TDSB’s budget? Staff have produced a Q&A based on public feedback.
Based on questions and comments I've already received I've listed a few points of clarification.
  • The reduction in Secondary teacher positions is based on a Ministry directive. It is a separate funding cut, that is in addition to the recent funding reductions of $67.8 million.
  • The TDSB budget process maintains a priority of supporting the Early Years and Special Education.
  • Only ~15% of the TDSB's education operating budget is flexible. The remainder is "fixed", that is set by Legislation, Ministry direction, and collective bargaining agreements and cannot be used to balance the $67.8 million shortfall. 
  • School Boards may not sell property to pay for classroom education. All sale of public assets must be approved by the Province.
  • Capitol Spending (for construction, maintenance, repairs) is funded by a separate government grant that cannot be used for classroom education (or vice versa).
  • School Boards have limited available revenue options (International tuition and limited leasing) and cannot fundraise.
  • "Structural Deficit" is created when fixed costs are not supported by the available funding. For instance most school boards have special education costs in excess of the Ministry funding for special education.
  • The annual staffing process is significantly delayed. Many placements (support and itinerant staff) and final staffing decisions cannot be completed until the final budget is approved. 
Ministry of Education - Increased Class Sizes and Elimination of Elementary & Secondary Teaching Positions
Elementary: The Ministry of Education is decreasing its funding for Grades 4 - 8 from 1 teacher per 23.24 students to 1 teacher per 24.5 students. Based on this direction from the Ministry the TDSB would need to reduce its elementary teachers by approximately 216. However, the TDSB’s collective agreement with teachers takes priority over Ministry direction and so we must maintain a ratio of 1 to 23.24. This discrepancy has added >$9 million to the TDSB budget shortfall for 2019/20. We continue to work with the ministry to help them understand this situation and to advocate for funding to deal with the shortfall.

Secondary: The Ministry is also reducing funding for Secondary schools over the next 4 years from 1 teacher per 22 students (average) to 1 per 28 students. After four years the TDSB projects it will have approximately 800 fewer high school teachers. Secondary schools in Toronto have already had to make difficult decisions about what courses or supports they can no longer offer beginning this September. This chart shows the results of the increase to class size averages in Year 1 from 21.7 to 23.6. The staffing reduction has not only impacted course selection, but will also result in fewer supports for students who need them.
Below are the total numbers of sections and additional supports that have been impacted:
- Grade 9/10 electives - 133 sections
- Grade 11/12 electives - 414 sections
- Grade 9 compulsories - 123 (English, Math, Science, Geography, French, Phys. Ed)*
- Grade 10 compulsories - 64 (English, Math, Science, History, Civics, Career Studies)*
* Each TDSB secondary school will be offering all compulsory courses; however, when a section of a compulsory course has been cancelled, all remaining sections of that compulsory course will be larger
- Guidance support reduced - 35                         
- Library sections cancelled, resulting in closure of library during instructional day or at lunch – 58
- Reduction of periods Teacher-Librarians can work directly with students - 9
- OSSLT Literacy course cancelled. Students who fail the OSSLT will be required to take this course at night school. This course often serves English Language Learners - 15
- Resource support reduced - 19
- Student Success support reduced (attendance counselling, literacy/numeracy support, gap closing, monitoring of underserved students) – 49
Ministry of Education Updates
Provincial Consultations - Have your say before May 31st!
Education Consultations: The Ministry of Education is running two consultations until May 31st, 2019. The first is on class size ( and the other is on teacher hiring practices ( Given that the Ministry has instructed school boards to reduce teaching staff by ~25% over the next 3-4 years it is unlikely there will be new teachers hired to full time positions in that time.
You can also send feedback to the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education: and or  
Autism Program Consultations: As I'm sure you are aware the provincial government has proposed changes to the Ontario Autism Program. The Ministry subsequently launched an online survey along with the opportunity to register for town hall teleconferences. According to the website - Ontario’s government is engaging in a month-long series of public consultations on how children and youth with autism, including those with complex needs, can be better supported. 

You are encouraged to complete the online survey prior to May 31, 2019, using the key points from our letter. The survey can be found at: 

For more information, please click here

Grants for Student Needs Technical Papers: 
On May 24th the Ministry of Education released the 'technical paper' for the 2019/20 Grants for Student Need funding. These are the calculations and criteria that the Province uses to provide specific funding and spending rules to each school board (80-85% of school board budgets are determined by the Province). Some grants are unchanged (special education, special purpose grants), and some spending has increased (internet installation for remote communities, transportation, and utilities), however other critical funds have been decreased or cancelled including the Pupil Foundation Grant (19% decrease), the Learning Opportunities Grant (31% decrease), and the Priority Schools Initiative (cancelled) - which directly supported communty programs in our most vulnerable neighbourhoods. TDSB staff now confirm that their initial calculations based on Ministry announcements were correct and the TDSB still faces a $67 million shortfall compared to the 2018/19 program funding.
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