Section 2: Education in Ontario
Education in Ontario
Under Canada’s Constitution, education is a provincial responsibility.
Education funding for school boards is determined by the Ministry of Education. For details of the funding formula go to edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/funding.html. The fiscal year for school boards is September 1 to August 31. A financial plan, or budget, which reflects the needs of students and school boards’ educational priorities is developed and approved, each year, by the Board. The financial plan, together with program planning, facilities planning and strategic planning assist the Board in managing its total resources.
School boards are responsible for establishing the Board budget – and for operating within it. Boards are legislatively required to plan for balanced budgets. Setting the board’s budget is one of the most important policy decisions a trustee participates in as a member of the board because it ensures that available dollar resources are properly allocated to meet provincial and board priorities to achieve the desired student outcomes.
The Education Act makes boards accountable to the province for balanced budgets and the effective use of available funds.
Curriculum policy documents from the Ministry of Education describe the overall and specific learning expectations for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12, according to subject area. Curriculum documents can be found on the Ministry of Education website at: edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teachers/curriculum.html.
For more information about education in Ontario and how the school system works, visit edu.gov.on.ca/eng.
The Ministry of Education sets policy for student assessment. This is described in the document Growing Success (see: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/growsuccess.pdf) which indicates assessment principles that guide the collection of meaningful information to help inform instructional decisions, promote student engagement, and improve student learning. In addition to the ongoing assessment of student progress that occurs in schools and is regularly reported to parents, there are also large-scale assessments such as the standardized testing conducted by the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Ontario participates as well in national and international assessments such as the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP), the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).