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Ontario to build, expand schools as part of $1.3B budget funding

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the province has committed to building and expanding 60 schools to create 27,093 new student spaces and 1,759 child-care spots. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the province has committed to building and expanding 60 schools to create 27,093 new student spaces and 1,759 child-care spots. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

The Ontario government will be putting $1.3 billion in funding towards building and expanding schools across the province, following the 2024 budget.

In a news release Thursday, the provincial government said it plans to support the construction and expansion of 60 schools in Ontario. It was not immediately clear how many of the schools would be expanded or how many would be new constructions.

The expansions are expected to create a total of 27,093 new student spaces and 1,759 child-care spots.

"This $1.3 billion in funding represents the single largest investment in school building in Ontario's history," Education Minister Stephen Lecce said at a news conference in Oakville Thursday.

Lecce said the investment will help keep up with a skyrocketing population growth in the province.

The new funding, which will be provided to school boards for the 2023-2024 school year, is part of the government's $214-billion budget for 2024 that was tabled by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy at Queen's Park last week.

In the budget, the provincial government earmarked $23 billion over 10 years, including about $16 billion in capital grants, to go toward building, expanding and renewing schools and child-care spaces.

"We can't afford to wait," Bethlenfalvy said at the Tuesday news conference.

"We're leaning into education in Ontario so that our kids have every advantage they need to succeed for generations to come."