2023-2024 Budget recommended for approval

2023-2024 Budget proposed for approval, despite funding challenges
Posted on 06/05/2023

June 5, 2023—A budget for the 2023-2024 school year has been proposed for approval. The budget was presented to the Physical Property, Finance and Building Committee this afternoon. It is balanced, with a small surplus of $22,597.

A balanced budget means expenses match revenues. As per Ministry of Education requirements, a balanced budget is required after two years of deficit budgets, which HPEDSB had in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years, to avoid depleting financial reserves. The balanced draft budget essentially freezes (neither increases nor decreases) the total accumulated surplus available for compliance.

Overall, projected Grant for Student Needs (GSN) revenues for HPEDSB increased to $220.1 million and Priorities and Partnership Funding (PPF) grants increased to $3.1 million, for total revenue of $233.2 million. Total projected expenses are $232.5 million, plus about $668,000 in costs described as unavailable for compliance, which leads to a slight surplus for compliance of $22,597.

How was a balanced budget achieved?

Prior to the release of funding information, HPEDSB had an estimated $4 million budget challenge to achieve a balanced budget for the upcoming school year, based on 2022-2023 figures, including a $1 million deficit for transportation,  a $400,000 deficit for utility costs and $2.6 million for under-budgeted supply/absence replacement costs. The budget challenge grew to $4.9 million once the funding for 2023-2024 was announced and inflation was factored in; there was an $800,000 increase in the transportation deficit and $125,000 increase in utility costs.

Strategies used to develop the 2023-2024 budget

The following strategies were used to achieve the balanced budget:

  • No excess funding: Board priorities were removed, deferred, or targeted funding was used.
  • Aligned expenses to funding: Reductions where expenses exceeded funding.
  • Central staff: Reduced, aligned to targeted funding.
  • School staff: Staffed to meet regulation and collective agreements.
  • Special education: Temporary funded staff removed, allocation of staff.
  • Auto reimbursement: Reduced.
  • Temporary funding: Expenses reduced where funding was removed.

Next steps

The proposed budget has been recommended by the Physical Planning, Finance and Building Committee for approval to the Board of Trustees at the Public Board meeting on June 19, 2023.