|21 June 2007, Belleville, Ontario—The Board of Trustees has approved a budget for the 2007-2008 school year in the amount of $165,336,798. It represents a 1.7 percent increase over the previous year's revised actual expenditures. Sources of revenue include the following: 74 percent from provincial grants, 24 percent from tax revenue and 2.3 percent from other sources. The initial budget deficit of $2 million has been substantially reduced through a selection of budget reduction strategies.
Enrolment decline continues to cause major funding losses and budget-setting challenges. For the 2007-2008 school year student enrolment is projected to be approximately 17,100, comprised of 10,359 elementary students and 6,723 secondary students.
Education continues to be a labour-intensive service with 80 percent of budget costs composed of staff salaries and benefits. In 2007-2008, the board will employ approximately 1,817 employees, comprised of 1,065 teachers, 268 educational assistants, 185 school administrative staff (principals, vice-principals and clerical), 165 operational and maintenance staff to clean and maintain schools, 74 professional and technical support staff for schools, and 60 administrative staff running all business and administrative functions. The 2007-2008 school year will be the fourth and final year of the provincially-negotiated labour framework. Negotiations with all employee groups are expected to begin next year.
Administration will continue to review all aspects of board operations in order to align resources with the system plan and to meet the challenge of balancing expenditures with revenues. Some of the planned initiatives include the following:
Support for students and teachers
- 2007-2008 is the final phase-in year of the Primary Class Size reduction initiative. Based on class size projections for next year the primary class size cap will be successfully implemented across the district.
- All elementary schools will continue to be provided with early literacy support, with an expansion of supports for specific schools through the Ontario Focused Intervention Project.
- Board and Ministry resources are being dedicated to schools and programs that help students succeed through the exploration of pathways for students and ensuring the successful transition between elementary and secondary school.
- In cooperation with the Ministry of Education, there will be continued investment in teacher and support staff professional development. Capacity building for new and existing system leaders is also a priority.
Information Technology Services
- An upgrade to the email system is scheduled for the fall.
- Computer ever-greening—to upgrade to new technology every five years—will carry on.
- The district continues to be a provincial leader in the implementation of OnSiS, the Ontario Student Information System, and MISA, Managing Information for Student Achievement.
- There will be a continuation of the Good Places to Learn initiative with an estimated $8 million in school renovations planned. Over the past two years, $25 million has been expended on building infrastructure including roofs, windows, washrooms, heating, lighting and ventilation.
- As enrolment declines, and in an attempt to reduce the cost of maintaining excess space, portable classrooms are being eliminated. By the start of the next school year 10 more portable classrooms will have been eliminated bringing the total eliminated over the past two years to 20.
Other budget considerations
- Administration will prepare for the government’s effectiveness and efficiency review of Tri-board Student Transportation Services.
- A review of long-term accommodation study results from Watson and Associates is due this fall.
- There is continued uncertainty surrounding special education funding and the impact on programs and services.
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For more information, contact:
• Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354