Enrolment numbers are what matters when it comes to school board funding in Ontario.
Property owners still decide if they wish for the education portion of their property taxes to support an English, French, Public, or Roman Catholic school board, but school boards have not been able to set their own tax levy rates since the Ontario government changed the law in 1997. At that time, the government also restructured school boards across the province, establishing English public and Catholic boards, and French public and Catholic boards.
Depending on linguistic and religious demographics, schools operated by some of these boards are more dominant than others in some communities. In Prescott and Russell counties, and in North Glengarry, all four types of boards are present.
Headquartered in Brockville, the English-Public Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has an approximate total enrolment of 27,012 for 2021-2022. Local UCDSB schools include Pleasant Corners Public School, Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute, Laggan Public School, Maxville Public School, and Glengarry District High School.
The UCDSB territory includes the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Leeds and Grenville, and Lanark County. Seven of the UCDSB’s 54 schools are located in Prescott and Russell. The 2021-2022 UCDSB budget is $385.8 million.
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) – which includes St. Jude Catholic School on Highway 34 near Vankleek Hill, and St. Finnan’s Catholic School in Alexandria – has a total enrolment of 13,164 for the 2021-2022 school year. The board’s territory not only covers all of Prescott and Russell counties, but also the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, Leeds and Grenville, and Lanark County. The board office is in Kemptville.
On December 14, the 2021-2022 budget was introduced to CDSBEO trustees. Expenditures are estimated at $204.3 million.
The French Catholic school board, the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO), has the largest presence of the four school boards serving this region. The L’Orignal-based agency has approximately 10,200 students in its schools this school year.
The CSDCEO serve all of Prescott and Russell and Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, and has elementary schools locally in Hawkesbury, Vankleek Hill, L’Orignal, St-Eugene, Alfred, Plantagenet, St-Isidore, Casselman, and Alexandria. There are CSDCEO high schools in Hawkesbury, Plantagenet, and Casselman.
The CSDCEO budget for 2021 is $196,581,625.
French Public schools in Eastern Ontario are part of the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO). The administrative office is in Ottawa and the board serves a huge territory eastward from Trenton to Cornwall and north to Pembroke.
For the 2021-2022 school year, the CEPEO has 16,924 students, which is a 1.8 per cent increase from the 2020-2021 school year, according to the board’s 2021-2022 budget. Most of the CEPEO’s schools are in Ottawa.
Locally, the board has elementary schools in Hawkesbury, Casselman, and Alexandria. The CEPEO has secondary schools in Hawkesbury and Casselman.
The total value of the CEPEO 2021-2022 budget is $297 million. Teaching expenses, which include salaries, compose 68.5 per cent of the budget expenditures.