In their recent report titled The Economic Case for Investing in Education, the Conference Board of Canada found that every dollar pulled out of education today costs our province $1.30 in future economic benefit. Strong education systems, the report notes, “not only lead people to higher incomes, but to contribute disproportionately to business innovation, productivity and economic performance.
The report also found that strong public education systems generate significant social benefits — a healthier population, a higher standard of living, and a reduction in crime — that lessen the demand for Ontario’s social assistance, public healthcare, and criminal justice services.“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.”
Building off these findings, the report concluded that if Ontario increased their high school graduation rates by just 3.7%, our province could see average fiscal savings of $16.4M per year or $3.5B over the course of two decades. Inversely, if our graduation rate falls by 3.7% — as it surely will if we cut the frontline staff and resources our students need to succeed — Ontario would spend an additional $18.0M in social services every year, costing our province $3.8B over that same 20-year period.
An investment in education is not just an investment in our school system - it is an investment in our students and our province’s future.