Local School Boards Brace For $100M Funding Cut

Plympton-Wyoming Public School construction. January 18, 2018 (Photo by Aaron Zimmer)

Local school boards are preparing for cuts to their school repair budgets in 2019.

Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives cancelled a $100-million fund designated for school repairs on Monday.

Lambton Kent District School Board Superintendent of Business Brian McKay says while there will be no impact this year, they expect reduced funding in 2019.

“For this year, we had already entered into contracts and jobs to use that funding, so [the government] is honouring those commitments,” says McKay. “The impact will be in future years because that’s one of the funding sources we rely on for capital work in our schools.”

The school repair fund provided the public board with about $1.6-million annually.

McKay says it’s not entirely clear how the cuts will affect the board after this year.

“I can’t speak specifically to what projects will be impacted yet, we’ll have to look and replan to make up for the $1.6 million,” he says. “We’re hopefully looking at just a delay of projects and not a cancellation.”

According to a spokesperson with the St. Clair Catholic District School Board there will be no impact to repairs in 2018 either.

The cut comes as a result of the PCs planned scrapping of the cap-and-trade program.