School Support Designation
What does it mean?
As a property owner in Ontario, you are required to support a school system, even if you do not have children or your children are not currently attending school. This information can be found on your Property Assessment Notice.
For residential properties that are occupied by tenants, the tenants school support preference will supersede that of the owners.
For properties that have more than one self-contained unit, such as a duplex, the tenants for each unit can direct their school support, as though they were assessed separately.
School support designation helps property owners and tenants identify which school board they wish to support in a school board election. School support information collected by MPAC is provided to municipalities and school boards for planning purposes.
There are five different school support designations:
- English public
- French public
- English separate (Catholic)
- French separate (Catholic)
- Protestant separate (Penetanguishene only)
As per legislation, your school support defaults to the English Public school board. However, you may be able to change your school support.
Changing your school support online
Did you know you can view and update your school support designation online via an online portal if you are a residential property owner or a tenant registered with MPAC?
To get started, select the option below that applies to you:
A guide is available to assist users with how to navigate changing their school support designation online: English | French
If you are unable to access the portal, MPAC also accepts paper applications for school support change requests. For more information, please see “Alternative method - changing your school support” below or call our Customer Contact Centre to register as a user, which may take up to 24 hours until you are registered within our systems.
Who this information is for
This information is for property owners and tenants in Ontario who would like to change which school board they support.
In order to change your school board support, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must own or lease a property or be the spouse of someone who owns or rents property.
- You may direct school support to only one of the school boards operating in your municipality. Note that not all school board types are available in all municipalities.
- If you own or lease more than one property in a single school board jurisdiction, all properties must support the same school board.
- To direct your taxes to a Catholic school board, you must be Roman Catholic or your joint owner/tenant (such as Roman Catholic spouse) may designate the property's support for a Catholic school board.
- To direct your taxes to a French-language school board, you or your joint owner/tenant must be a Canadian citizen and meet one of the following criteria:
- French is their first language learned and is still understood.
- You received elementary school instruction in a French-language education institution* in Canada.
- Your child(ren) received or receives their education at the elementary or secondary level in a French-language education institution* in Canada.
- To support a French Separate school board, you must meet the criteria for both the Separate (Catholic) and French Language school boards.
* This does not include French immersion or French as a second language.
Benefits of changing your school support
In addition to supporting the board that best reflects your educational preferences, you will be able to vote in the next municipal and school board election for trustees for the school board that you support.
Alternative method – changing your school support
To change the school board designation that we have on file for you in person, please follow these steps:
- You must complete an Application for Direction of School Support form, which you can download from this page or obtain from your school board's office.
- If you are Roman Catholic but your joint owner or leaseholder is not, and you want to change your designation to a Catholic or French Language board, you must complete and submit a Separate School Lease Agreement. You can get the Separate School Lease Agreement from your separate school board.
- Using mail or email, please send us your:
- We will process the change to your school support designation upon receipt. If an email address is provided, the applicant will receive an email confirmation.
Relevant forms and links
Section 14(1.1) of the Assessment Act
Education Act, sections 236 and 237
Online Portal to change school support: