Independent Education In Ontario

Background Information – Independent Education in Ontario

  • Ontario’s independent schools are NOT financially supported through government funding – they are defined as business’ or non-profit organizations, not even permitted to claim being registered with the provincial government despite annual completion of a Notice of Intention To Operate A Private School (NOI) and annual mandated participation in the Ontario Student Information System (OnSIS)
  • 1300 registered independent schools in Ontario
  • 120,000 students enrolled in independent schools in Ontario – 20,000 students being home-schooled in Ontario
  • GRAND TOTAL – 140,000 students in independent schools and home schools account for more than 6% of Ontario’s total student population (As points of comparison: a) there are more students enrolled in independent schools than all the schools operated by the province’s 12 Francophone boards and b) there are as many students attending independent schools in Ontario as there are attending public schools in Nova Scotia)
  • Nearly half (49.3%) of Canada’s independent Schools are located in Ontario – more students are educated in independent schools in Ontario than in any other province
  • The share of enrolment in independent schools increased from 4.9% to 6.1% between 2005 and 2015
  • AMOUNT OF ANNUAL SAVINGS TO PROVINCE OF ONTARIO – Students attending independent schools save the province $1.8 billion annually (this is the additional cost to the province if all of these students would exercise their right to access public provincial schools and for which the province is obligated to provide under the Education Act)
  • Despite a decreasing share of enrolment (5%), spending on public education in Ontario increased 36.6% between 2005 and 2015
  • Even though the graduates of these schools go on to attend colleges & universities, get jobs and become responsible, productive citizens, they receive NO school support from the province for their education despite the clear obligation in Ontario’s Education Act to provide for EVERY child’s education!  Their parents pay both educational taxes and tuition for their children attending independent schools
  • OFIS is the largest, fastest growing, MOST diverse independent school association in the province – providing support, resources & services to member schools from a variety of backgrounds: faith-based schools, culturally-based schools, alternative educational (pedagogical) schools, special needs schools, community-based schools, and arts & athletics schools

Studies & Reports

  • Cardus – Funding Fairness For Students In Ontario With Special Education Needs – March 21 2019 – Education funding reform is long overdue for students with special needs in Ontario. Currently students with special needs receive special education funding only if they attend a public government school. This paper calculates the expenditure required for funding reform for students with special education needs who attend an independent non-government school.
  • Cardus – Better is Possible – November 7 2018Better is Possible proposes a new way forward for improving education for everyone: increased independent school enrollment. If provincial governments deliberately sought to increase independent schools’ share of all enrollment by five to 10 percent, the sector would be large enough to provide parents with a stronger education alternative without system-wide disruption. Moreover, Cardus argues a stronger independent school sector would spur innovation and increased accountability among Canada’s public schools.
  • Cardus Education Survey 2018 – Ontariio Bulletin – October 24 2018 – This report concentrates on Ontario graduates in 2018, drawing on graduates between twenty-four and thirty-nine years old who attended one of the following sectors in Ontario: public, separate Catholic, independent Catholic, evangelical protestant, and non-religious independent. What they found: Ontario independent schools produce the province’s most civically engaged graduates, these graduates – especially those from independent Protestant or Catholic schools –demonstrate a high degree of volunteerism, independent school graduates express higher trust in their neighbours, co-workers, and even strangers than public school grads do, which bodes well for their social engagement and graduates of religious independent schools have friends from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. In other words, they’re not isolating themselves.
  • Cardus – Mapping Canadian School Associations  – September 2 2018 – Cardus – These associations strengthen the voice of the independent school sector, increase capacity, and promote values and standards among the diverse forms of quality non-government K-12 education. Within this paper are mapped the functions of 56 provincial, national, and international education associations from across Canada
  • Comparing The Standardized Test Scores of British Colombia’s Public & Independent Schools – June 26 2018 – Barbara Mitchell Centre For Improvement In Education – Study finds that over a five-year period, students at non-elite independent schools averaged statistically significant higher scores than public school students in 10 of the province’s 11 standardized tests in both elementary and secondary schools, even though after tax incomes for families with children at both types of schools are the same
  • Funding Religious Schools: The Majority Of Canadians Say At Least Some Public Dollars Should Be Provided – December 14 2017 – Angus Reid Institute – Asked a broad question about public funding of private, faith-based schools, six-in-ten Canadians (61%) say such institutions should either receive support equal to that enjoyed by public schools (31%), or at least some amount of government funding (30%).

  • Regulation And Funding Of Independent Schools: Lessons From Sweden – November 15 2016 – Barbara Mitchell Centre For Improvement In Education – as full government funding was extended to independent schools – including for-profit institutions – as part of a series of education reforms undertaken in the 1990s and beyond, enrolment in Sweden’s independent schools increased substantially – this study offers several key lessons for policymakers in every province in Canada.
  • Independent Schools In British Colombia: Myths & Realities – September 2016 – Barbara Mitchell Centre For Improvement In Education – Calls for reductions to or elimination of funding for independent schools in British Columbia are based on misperceptions, specifically, that parents choose independent schools because public schools are underfunded; that independent schools are “elite” and that government funding of independent schools drain public expenditures.
  • Education Spending & Public Student Enrolment In Canada – September 1 2016 – Barbara Mitchell Centre For Improvement In Education – For Canada as a whole, over the last decade (2004-05 to 2013-14), the increase in per-student spending in public schools is 25.8% (once adjustments have been made for inflation). Specifically, per-student education spending in public schools, accounting for changes in prices, increased from $9,876 to $12,427 between 2004-05 and 2013-14
  • A Diverse Landscape – Independent Schools In Canada – June 2016 – Barbara Mitchell Centre For Improvement In Education – first of its kind to offer a national survey of independent schools in Canada. It seeks to address the persistent myth that independent schools are of one dominant type serving a single sort of family. Contrary to the common caricature that they are enclaves for the urban elite, independent schools parents come in a wide variety of types and serve many educational preferences
  • Lessons For Ontario – Education Diversity Across Canada – November 2015 – summarizes the discussion convened by Cardus with public and private school stakeholders and explores the lessons that Ontario can learn about “warming the climate” for educational diversity from across Canada thirty years after Shapiro
  • Where Are Students Are Educated: Measuring Student Enrolment In Canada – October 6 2015 – Barbara Mitchell Centre For Improvement In Education – Fraser Institute Study compares and contrasts the changes in public & independent school enrolments, by province, between 2000 – 2013. It finds that, against the backdrop of declining school-age populations (down more than 6% over that time period), independent school enrolment across Canada increased almost 17% while public school enrolment decreased 8%
  • Breaking Down The 2015 Schooling in America Survey –  June 30 2015 – Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice –Schooling in America is an annual project, commissioned by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and conducted by Braun Research, Inc. (BRI)
  • Teacher Incentive Pay That Works – A Global Survey Of Programs that Improve Student Achievement– September 2014 – Barbara Mitchell Centre For Improvement In Education – Fraser Institute – the 10 case studies included in this Global Survey were selected because
    they reward teachers based primarily or solely on student achievement
  • Financial Savings: Restructuring Education In Ontario Using The British Columbia Model – September 2014 – Fraser Institute – Calculations for four scenarios, based on different levels of enrolment, resulted in annual nets savings from $849.1 million to $1.873 billion. The relative fiscal effect would be saving between 7.5 and 16.6 percent of Ontario’s 2013/14 deficit
  • Towards A Warmer Climate For Ontario’s Private Schools – September 2014 – Cardus – Fresh North American data and a provocative new research paper from an esteemed Ontario academic clinch the argument for making school choice a key part of educational policy for the public good
  • Cardus Education Surveys –
    Do Christian independent schools deliver on their promises? Cardus reports on the largest-ever sample of graduates and administrators in North America, focusing on students’ spiritual formation, cultural engagement and academic development – 2011 & 2012
  • Institute of Marriage & Family Canada – IMFC – Public_Education_And_Parental_Choice – May 2010
    Public Education & Parental Choice – Report on Enrolment Trends in Ontario Schools – May 2010
  • Backgrounder info – Breaking Down Monopolies: Expanding Choice & Competition In Education – October 2007 – CD Howe Institute
  • Ontario’s Private Schools – Who Chooses Them And Why? – Studies In Educational Policy and Sponsored by The Fraser Institute – May 2007 – Study May 2007 – University of Western Ontario
  • Private Schools By The Numbers – Independent School Statistics – 2012
  • Provincial Auditor-General’s Report, released in December 2013, contained a review of MOE’s oversight of private schools –OFIS Assessment – MOE’s Oversight Of Private Schools – December 2013