School Board Permits
January 19, 2020 (source: Mississauga.com)
The Peel District School Board (PDSB) has reversed a decision to charge community groups for permits to use school facilities.
In May, the board reduced the subsidy provided to permits for the community use of schools because of reduced funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education.
The decision left many community groups in Mississauga and Brampton scrambling to find alternative accommodation for programs like youth basketball and scouts.
Last school year, the Peel board issued approximately 12,500 permits for facility rentals to community groups, spending $1.3 million on subsidies. At the time, the school board said it had no option but to raise rental fees to cover its own funding shortfalls.
On Jan. 13, Peel school board trustees voted to reinstate the subsidies provided to community permit holders, effective immediately, for the remainder of the 2019 to 2020 school year to reflect 2018 to 2019 rates.
The change will be retroactive to Sept. 1, 2019.
Carla Pereira, director of communications and community relations, said the $1.3 million came from in-year savings, in an email.
In the coming months, Peel board staff will work to issue refunds/credits for previously booked permits. Staff will communicate about process and timelines as they know more, PDSB said in a statement.
“Schools are hubs of the community and a convenient venue for a host of recreational, group and corporate activities. School facilities provide a place to come together, volunteer, build skills, access community programs, become physically active, and build strong and healthy communities,” said the statement.
Community use hours on weekdays is from 6 to 10 p.m. and weekends from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.