From the recently released report on operating and capital budget by the Halton District School Board.
At the June 19, 2019 Board meeting, Trustees of the Halton District School Board approved the operating and capital budgets for the 2019-2020 school year. Both budgets are compliant with the province’s Public Sector Accountability Board (PSAB) requirements.
The 2019-2020 operating budget for the HDSB totals $754,956,645, while the capital budget totals $64,005,723.
In the 2019-2020 school year, the HDSB will welcome 65,454 students in 87 elementary schools and 17 secondary schools. This enrolment projection results in an overall increase of 1.3 percent compared to the current 2018-2019 school year.
The 2019-2020 Budget Development process included challenges resulting from a significant reduction in funding, accentuated by:
an increase in operational pressures,
increased demand for resources to support student achievement,
Ministry of Education redistribution of the Special Education funding, and
a per-pupil level of funding that is below the provincial average.
The operating budget is $8.3 million lower than the current 2018-2019 budget. Currently, the HDSB is facing a $22 million reduction in funding due to recent changes announced by the Ministry of Education. As a result of these challenges, there have been reductions in all areas of the budget. The HDSB reduced 189 positions across all employee groups, and an additional $6 million across various departmental budgets, transportation, temporary accommodations, school budgets, technology in schools, and professional development.
“Reduction to funding, staffing positions, and other budgets will pose challenges in the coming year,” says Roxana Negoi, Superintendent of Business Services. “Teacher librarian positions have been reduced along with technical support to schools.”
“Despite increased enrolment, there has been a reduction of more than 800 classes available to secondary students,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “This will result in higher secondary class sizes and possible cancellation of some compulsory and elective classes.”
As a result of significant shortfalls in funding, the Board has approved a deficit budget of $2,508,147, with a recovery plan to address the deficit within two years.
“The HDSB continues to be committed to every student,” says Negoi. “Reductions in this budget were made with consideration to minimizing the impact on student learning and to school communities and staff overall, while carefully considering all budget input received from our communities, partners, and staff.”
While reductions and efficiencies are required, the 2019-2020 HDSB Operating and Capital Budgets have been developed with the vision that every student will continue to explore and enhance their potential, passions, and strengths to thrive as contributing global citizens.
“I have every confidence in the professionalism and expertise of our staff,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education. “Our staff will always do what is required to support students the best that they can.”
For more information on the school board’s budget and financial information, click here.