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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 25, 2004

2004–2005 budget receives approval from Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
The 2004-2005 budget for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board was approved by trustees at a board meeting held on August 25, 2004. The budget totals $152.5 million, an increase of 3.5% over the previous year’s actual results. Trustees are pleased that the budget is balanced and compliant with all spending envelopes required by the Ministry of Education.

While the budget does manage to maintain existing programs and services, there are some significant improvements incorporated into the budget:

“We are very pleased with the budget. Not only have we been able to maintain existing programs, we are able to offer enhanced programs as well. Concern still exists around declining enrolment, and the benchmark increases have not been addressed,” remarks Judy Edgar, Chair of the Board.

The Board will continue to face the challenge of declining enrolment across its jurisdiction as the number of school age children entering the school system both within our district and around the province continues to drop. This will have implications for the Board’s operations and space utilization.

Many cost benchmarks have not been adequately addressed in the funding model as recommended by the Education Equality Task Force. School boards are still working with below market cost benchmarks in the key areas of salaries and benefits, utilities and facility renewal.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has 46 elementary and eight secondary schools serving 18,700 students, employing 1,067 teachers and 775 support staff. The Board covers a wide geographical area of 7,221 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south, and Quinte West to the West.

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For more information, contact:
• David Rutherford, Superintendent of Finance, ext. 2280, at (613) 966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350