The ABCs of EDCs: Why the TDSB can't collect money like other boards and the fight to change that
The Toronto District School Board’s repair backlog is projected to grow to almost $5 billion by 2025 if the current level of provincial funding doesn’t increase, but the board says provincial red tape is blocking several alternative ways to chip away at that backlog or build new schools.
Saman Tabasinejad helped write the report and says in her neighbourhood — Willowdale, near Yonge Street and Finch Avenue East — there are children who can see a school from their apartment window, but it's at capacity and so they are bused elsewhere.
There's more to this. I live in this exact neighborhood.
My building is across the street from an elementary school. The condo is nearly 20 years old. TDSB says they can't allow kids living here to go there because there just isn't room. They also say there is no foreseeable future where there will be room.
They could rezone. Move the boundaries so that. But you know, the houses that would be impacted by this are the 2-3 million dollar homes. And the school here is "highly rated" by some magazine.
We went to a town hall meeting on the topic of rezoning. People there were saying they'd sue for their lost property value if the zoning changed. The school board rep told us that living in condos was our "lifestyle choice" and we had to live with the consequences of not being able to afford a $2m home, which was that our kids would have to be bused elsewhere.
It's not about the not being enough space. It's about the board keeping low income kids out of nice schools.
Between 1998 and 2020, the Toronto Catholic District School Board collected more than $204 million, but the TDSB is ineligible for that kind of funding.
The Toronto District School Board's repair backlog is projected to grow to almost $5 billion by 2025 if the current level of provincial funding doesn't increase, but the board says several alternative ways to chip away at that backlog or build new schools are being blocked by provincial red tape.
Among them, a 2017 provincial moratorium on school closures — which means the board cannot close schools with low student enrolment and sell the buildings and land — and not having access to Educational Development Charges (EDCs), which would allow the board to buy land for new schools.
EDCs are designed to ensure that growth pays for growth by charging developers for the potential influx of students their new residential properties could bring. School boards can then use that money to purchase land to build new schools, but not pay for repairs.
Informative article, well worth the read - especially if you have children in the TDSB system.
This is only going to get worse as more development occurs in the city. It’s great to build more housing, increase density, and so on, but our infrastructure needs to grow with the population.
Case in point: the Celestica lands at Don Mills and Eglinton will add 10,000 new homes to the neighbourhood, and both TDSB and TCDSB have posted signs at the site announcing there are no plans to build new schools to serve the community. Even a conservative estimate of one child per two homes adds 5,000 kids that will need to be bussed or take transit to school. The utilization rates of the schools within a reasonable distance, meaning in the Don Mills and Lawrence area or south at Overlea, are all between 90% and 140% of capacity. You want to build a community? That includes building schools for that community. The city has an opportunity here to force the developers to do just that.
Why can’t the TDSB access EDCs?
In order to qualify for EDCs, a school board must show that the number of students that it needs to accommodate is larger than the space available on a district-wide basis, regardless of its inability to accommodate students in schools in specific neighborhoods. Many of our schools are over capacity as a result of significant residential intensification in certain areas but the TDSB has excess capacity in other areas.
EDCs are a critical funding tool that would help the TDSB to meet growth-related infrastructure needs. In order for the TDSB to be able to access EDCs, Ontario Reg. 20/98 needs to be amended.
The current TCDSB education development charges schedule is as follows:
Residential EDC Rate per Dwelling Unit:
Effective June 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020 $1,793
Effective May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 $2,093
Effective May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022 $2,393
Effective May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023 $2,693
Effective May 1, 2023 to December 2, 2023 $2,993
Non-residential EDC Rate per Sq. Foot of GFA
Effective June 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020 $1.12
Effective May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 $1.18
Effective May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022 $1.24
Effective May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023 $1.30
Effective May 1, 2023 to December 2, 2023 $1.37
When Charges are Payable
An education development charge will be imposed where the first building permit issued in relation to a building or structure for above ground construction is issued on or after the date the by-law comes into force and if not collected on the first such permit on the next building permit issued for that development.
Without the restrictions found in Section 10 of Ontario Reg. 20/98, the TDSB would qualify for EDCs and generate revenue of approximately $500 million over the next 15 years, which will help us meet growth-related infrastructure needs (estimate based upon the rates charged by the Toronto Catholic District School Board in their EDC by-law as of December 2018). (link)
Why did you merge TDSB and "can't" together? That is not real grammar.. kinda weird?
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