With more prudent education spending, Ontario could have reduced its provincial deficit by two-thirds.
Over the past decade, government spending on public education in Ontario has grown at an unsustainable rate, driven largely by significant growth in employee compensation costs.
When comparing overall operating expenditures, on-reserve students receive the same amount (on average) as other Canadian students, and in some cases, more.
In some quarters, it is taken as a given that Alberta’s schools are underfunded. Critics cite rising class sizes and slipping international test scores (in some areas) as evidence that more money is needed.
As a new school year begins, labour strife is once again affecting Ontario’s public schools. Elementary school teachers are engaged in a “work to rule” campaign and the possibility of a strike looms.
As parents settle back into school year routines, it’s inevitable that questions regarding education spending and the performance of our schools will return to the forefront. This is particularly true in provinces like Ontario and Alberta that are struggling with precarious public finances.