news head
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Public school board begins to deal with the deficit
6 April 2006, Belleville, Ontario—Budget projections for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) for the upcoming school year indicate a shortfall of at least $1.6 million. This is due to the combination of a cutback in the Ministry of Education’s Special Education funding and an ongoing decline in enrollment.

HPEDSB, along with a number of other boards in Ontario, is continuing to experience a decline in the number of students enrolling in elementary school. Preliminary reports indicate a reduction of 449 elementary students in HPEDSB schools for the 2006-2007 school year. Trustees have struggled with the change in the Ministry of Education’s Special Education funding criteria and the dual impact of having fewer students next year.

“The Board of Trustees is committed to providing the best programs to meet the needs of all students. Creating a balance between providing suitable programming and pathway opportunities with the need to renovate ageing facilities, make fiscally-responsible decisions and continue to attract students are choices that we face every day,” remarks Judy Edgar, Chair of the Board.

To address the budget shortfall, the following adjustments to programs, personnel and facilities will be in place for September, 2006:

Programs and staffing

Facilities

At the present time, 34 employees from the union and non-union groups have received layoff notices. Pending the number of retirements and leaves, as well as the normal year-end staffing process scheduled for the end of June, it is anticipated that not all of these employees will be laid off. HPEDSB is hopeful that some of these employees will be recalled if adequate funding comes from the Ministry of Education. The announcements for 2006-2007 grants are expected by the end of May.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has 46 elementary and eight secondary schools serving 18,400 students, employing 1,070 teachers and 705 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.

For more information, contact:
• Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, (613) 966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354