Ontarians agree – spending on education is an investment in the future


Recent survey results show investing in public education is a high priority for Ontarians

Toronto, November 28, 2022 – Today, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and Nanos Research released new survey data regarding several public education issues ranging from education funding to curriculum, special education, equity, and governance. The associated report includes comparisons to OPSBA and Nanos’ 2019 survey.



The results indicate that nine in ten Ontarians agree (61%) or somewhat agree (29%) that spending on public education is an investment in the future. This is consistent across all demographics.

A strong majority of Ontarians say a variety of education funding priorities are important with about nine in ten saying more funding is important/somewhat important for the maintenance, repair and renewal of schools, special education programming, and mental health supports, among other opportunities and supports.

“These results validate the hard work and dedication of public school boards and our member trustees to students and their families, especially in the COVID-19-related era of rapid change and adaptation,” said Cathy Abraham, President of OPSBA. “Education is the second largest funding line in the provincial budget and it is our hope that these results can help inform decisions to ensure public education is supported by stable and predictable funding. Public education is an investment for the future and we must advocate for those conditions that will help all students succeed.”

Other Highlights:

  • Three in four Ontarians support (38%) or somewhat support (37%) mandatory Indigenous education curriculum for all students which advance students’ knowledge and understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures, and perspectives. This is up 4% from a survey done in 2019.
  • A strong majority of Ontarians (81%) say it is important (51%) or somewhat important (30%) to have mandatory anti-racism training for all students, teachers, and education workers.
  • About twice as many Ontarians (58% compared to 30%) think investing in public education is more important than eliminating the deficit and paying down the debt, which is consistent with 2019 survey.
  • Consistent with 2019 survey, Ontarians are four times more likely (65% compared to 15%) to say it is better to elect school board trustees than to have them appointed by the Government of Ontario.
  • More than three-quarters of Ontarians (76%) say it is important (34%) or somewhat important (42%) to expand the opportunities for students to experience the arts.
  • Ontarians are split on whether Ontario’s public education system does a very good/good, or does a poor/very poor job when it comes to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, with 21% saying very good or good, 37% saying average and 25% saying poor or very poor. Nearly one-fifth were unsure (17%).
  • 91% of Ontarians say it is important (56%) or somewhat important (35%) to expand opportunities for students to learn coding and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
  • Most Ontarians (59%) continue to say they are opposed or somewhat opposed to public tax dollars being used to help fund the private education system.

About the Research:

On behalf of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Nanos conducted a representative online survey of 2,015 Ontario residents, 18 years of age or older, from October 19 to 30, 2022, drawn from a non-probability panel. The sample is geographically stratified to be representative to the province of Ontario. No margin of error applies to this research. The research was commissioned by the OPSBA and was conducted by Nanos Research.

Complete survey results can be found at www.opsba.org and www.nanos.co

For more information, please contact:

Shane Gonsalves
Managing Director, Government Relations and Public Affairs
Ontario Public School Boards’ Association

T.J. Goertz
Senior Communications and Policy Officer
Ontario Public School Boards’ Association