ALMAGUIN – Thousands of dollars in top-up funding will be pulled from South River and Sundridge public schools next year when the Ministry of Education’s revised funding model takes effect.
The ministry provides the majority of its annual funding to school boards based on a per student method. With some schools underutilized and possessing low enrollment numbers the ministry realized that the per student model was not always sufficient and provided top-up funding to help school boards maintain facilities.
Last year changes were made to the top-up funding model and the ministry began phasing in a new funding formula that favours isolated schools and fully utilized schools. Full implementation of this new funding model will take effect for the 2017-18 school year.
Based on 2016-17 student enrollment estimates the Near North District School Board will receive $1.9 million under the new model, opposed to the $3.7 million they would have received from the old model, a loss of $1.8 million.
“That is why there is urgency here. This change in funding significantly impacts the Near North District School Board. It represents a decrease of 48 per cent in top-up allocation for school operations for 2017-18,” said Gay Smylie, principal of capital planning for Near North.