At a recent CDSBEO Board meeting, a presentation was given on the Enhanced Top-Up Funding Allocation available to schools. In 2015-2016, the Ministry of Education began to phase in the changes to top-up funding for Ontario schools through the School Board Efficiencies and Modernization Strategy (SBEM). Through a three-year phase-in plan, the 2017-2018 school year is the final phase-in year. The changes to the funding model affect both School Operations and School Renewal Grants.
Superintendent of Business, Bonnie Norton, presented information on the new Enhanced Top-Up Funding to the Board of Trustees. “The old rural school funding model is being replaced with the new model, which eliminates base top-up for facilities that are operating at less than capacity and old enhanced top-up eligibility requirements,” began Mrs. Norton.
The new allocation model sets parameters for new funding eligibility requirements based on reduced distance thresholds, with increases to operating and renewal cost benchmarks.
“A school facility is provided with new enhanced top-up operations if it meets one of two criteria: an elementary school where the next closest elementary or secondary school of the board is at least 10 km away, or a secondary school where the next closest secondary school of the board is at least 20 km away,” continued Mrs. Norton.
The new enhanced top-up funding, along with other components of the School Operations Allocation, will ensure that qualifying schools are funded at 100 per cent capacity.
“Collectively, based on the new model, our top-up funding will be looking at a combined loss of $450,000. This reduction in funding is due to the schools which no longer qualify under the new distance criteria,” concluded Mrs. Norton.Taris.