Local colleges crunch numbers after 2019 Ontario budget announced
Published Friday, April 12, 2019 7:16PM EDT
Local colleges are crunching the numbers trying to figure out the changes to the post-secondary funding formula after the Ford Government tabled its 2019 budget on Thursday.
"I think it's just good business and we're up for the challenge," said MaryLynn West-Moynes, the President of Georgian College.
The president is embracing the changes linked to student performances that will tie 60 per cent of a school's funding by 2024-2025 which has yet to be finalized metrics that will include student skills and job outcomes. The budget also contains a previously announced 10 per cent tuition cut that takes effect this fall.
"It's fair that colleges are responsible to people who fund us and that's the taxpayers."
Currently, funding is only based on 1.2 per cent for colleges, but Georgian’s President doesn't have any concerns with more than 90 per cent of graduates finding employment within six months.
“I’m incredibly pleased that this government has made a commitment to modernize apprenticeship. Every employer that I’ve talked to in our community is looking for how we’re going to fill the incredible skills gap.”
But the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) argues it will result in limited access to programs.
“This budget will leave students with more debt and fewer services as a result of the Premier’s politically-motivated attack on democratic students’ unions,” said Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the CFS.
The union representing public high school teachers is calling the increase in education spending smoke and mirrors, with class sizes increasing from the current cap of 22 up to 28.
"There will be less options for kids because if you've increased class sizes, you're going to reduce the number of courses offered in schools,” said Jen Hare Bargaining Unit President of OSSTF.
Smaller municipalities including Parry Sound are happy to see an investment in broadband technology.
"Broadband is likely to play a greater role in the delivery of health care and education," said parry sound mayor and AMO President Jamie McGarvey.
But there are questions about funding from the gas tax for transit which helps municipalities with transit systems offset the costs.
"We were anticipating that was going to increase, it did not, but it did stay the same," said Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin.
Funding Innisfil depends on to offset the costs of its Uber transit program that will expand this year.
“They do talk in the budget document about reviewing the funding formula which maybe could mean that some will get more and some will get less, but the actual envelope will be the same.”