Public school board passes balanced budget

A balanced budget has been approved for the 2009-2010 school year. Board members approved a $177.9 million budget that aligns with the district system goals. A transfer from reserve funds will be in order to produce the balanced budget. The scheduled follow-up review of Tri-Board Student Transportation Services could result in additional funding which may forego the need to transfer funds from reserves.

The $177,909,670 budget represents a 0.7% increase over the previous year’s revised actual revenues and expenditures. Sources of revenue include the following: 75.4% from provincial grants, 22.4% from local property tax revenue and 2.2% from other sources.

Despite the continued decline in enrolment and government restraint measures there are a number of positive components contained within the budget that continue to support the board’s system goals, action plans and detailed action steps. The Provincial Framework Agreements have provided additional teaching and support resources but more importantly, the Board has been able to maintain supports and introduce some improvements for the coming year.

The following represent additional supports to students, staff and the system through higher service levels or maintenance of support during a period of government restraint and declining enrolment. All support the AiM—Achievement in Motion for Student Success system plan and the five goals:
• Success for All Students
• System of Character
• Employee Excellence
• Open Communication
• Community Relationships

Board-approved components from Provincial Framework Agreements

  • Six full-time equivalent positions will be hired in Facility Services. (3 custodians, 1 building control technician, 1 electrician and 1 preventive maintenance lead hand).
  • 2.67 full-time equivalent secondary teaching positions have been created to address workload issues and aid student success.
  • Five full-time equivalent elementary teaching positions have been created as a result of a 10-minute increase in teacher preparation time and a reduction in Grade 4-8 average class size.

Board-approved inclusions

  • Maintenance of existing board professional development and in-service budgets.
  • Maintenance of existing board support for information technology, including the ever-greening plan in which computers are replaced every five years.
  • Maintenance of existing school texts, supplies and materials budgets.
  • Maintenance of Special Education budgets and an increase in the number of self-contained Special Education classes in secondary schools.
  • Maintenance of Curriculum Services budgets, continued support for literacy and numeracy through Student Success initiatives in secondary schools, and literacy partners in elementary schools.
  • Expansion of Native Studies courses across all secondary schools resulting in the hiring of three full-time equivalent teachers.
  • Creation of a multi-year plan for leadership development and succession planning for both academic and support employees that follows the Ontario Leadership Strategy issued by the Ministry of Education.
  • Continued focus on safe schools through the development of standards for video surveillance and introduction of a process to begin to upgrade and replace existing equipment.

“I am so pleased that the Board is able to hire more staff and put supports in place that will assist students to be successful in their chosen pathway. Declining enrolment continues to be a reality that will contribute to ongoing financial challenges.” – Carl Pitman, Chair of the Board.

“District-wide our focus continues to be on enhancing opportunities for student success. Through this budget the Board has committed to continue its focus on safe schools through video surveillance, offering more Native Studies courses, and maintaining professional development opportunities and information technology support at existing levels.” – Kathy Soule, Director of Education.

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board serves approximately 16,700 students each day at 46 elementary and eight secondary schools. Supporting student achievement is the goal of approximately 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, share their passion for teaching and learning. The district 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.

Posted June 15, 2009

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For information, contact:
• Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613 966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, ext. 2354.

Last updated: June 15, 2009 at 10:46 pm
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