The Economic Case for Investing in Education – 2019 Conference Board of Canada Report, June 2019

This report was prepared by the Conference Board of Canada for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

A quote from the conclusion of the report: Our findings suggest that changes in public education spending have a significant impact on the province’s economic performance, including an estimated total increase in Ontario’s economic activity of $371 million from a 1 per cent increase in public education spending.

Some of the findings of the report

Each dollar of public education spending generates $1.30 in total economic benefits to Ontario. Whereas, the inverse holds for each dollar taken from public education.

Public education can generate social benefits, such as a healthier population, a higher standard of living, and a reduction in crime. That lessens demand for Ontario’s social assistance, public healthcare, and criminal justice services.

Through increases in public education spending that improve high school graduation rates to the highest rate in the country, Ontario could see average fiscal savings of $16.4 million each year. That could accrue to total savings of $3.5 billion over the course of two decades.

In a reverse scenario, where high school graduation rates instead fall to 82.6 per cent, Ontario would spend an additional $18.0 million each year. Over a 20-year period, that could amount to total fiscal costs of $3.8 billion.

Each additional high school graduate saves the Ontario government (on average) $2,767 each year on social assistance, healthcare, and criminal justice. While, each additional high school non-completer costs the province $3,128 each year.

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