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About school boards

A school board is a body that operates the province's publicly funded schools. The school board is governed by its publicly elected board members (the board of trustees). Collectively, boards of trustees set the vision for the school board, develop policies, allocate resources and set the goals that lay the foundation and drive programs and operations in the school board.

Trustees can be elected to one of four different school board systems: English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic.

A fundamental pillar of a democratic society is free education for its citizens. Ontario's publicly funded school boards provide high standards in programming and ensure that there are supports and resources to help all students to reach those standards.

The responsibilities of school boards are set out in Ontario's Education Act which states that every school board shall:

Beyond these broad areas of accountability, the Education Act also spells out duties for school boards that include such obligations as overseeing the effective operation of schools, setting the board's budget, overseeing implementation of the Ministry's curriculum policies, and ensuring that appropriate staff are hired as required by schools.

Boards will also make determinations about such matters as pupil transportation, school libraries, continuing education, and childcare facilities on school sites. More details can be found in section 170 of the Education Act.

A school board is not:


For more information see: Making a Difference for Kids: Running for Election as a School Board Trustee.