June 20, 2012:
Following four months of presentations, review and debate, Halton District School Board trustees will consider its largest ever operating and capital budget, this week. The Halton District School Board meeting of June 20, 2012 will see trustees review proposed expenditures for 2012-13 totalling more than $600 million.
“It has been an intensive process,” says Board Chair Don Vrooman, Oakville Trustee for Wards 1 and 2. “Trustees have reviewed 2012-13 education funding allocations received from the Ontario government, reviewed administrative recommendations, considered input from parents, students and stakeholders, and debated strategies to deliver the greatest benefit to our students in the upcoming year. The process began in February prior to the release of the Ministry of Education’s Grants for Student Needs, and will continue right up until this Wednesday, when the Board of Trustees is expected to approve the budget.”
During the 2012-13 school year the Halton District School Board will welcome approximately 56,500 students in 81 elementary and 17 secondary schools. This is a projected enrolment increase of 3.9% or approximately 5,500 students compared to the 2011-12 school year. Because the Ministry of Education allocates funding to school boards using a model based on enrolment and the needs of students in each board, the Grants for Student Needs (GSN) provided to the Halton District School Board for the upcoming year will allow for an additional 135 teachers, continuation of the full-day kindergarten program, capital improvements and construction, and continuation or enhancement of existing programs.
“The Halton District School Board’s proposed operating budget for 2012-13 provides funding to implement initiatives designed within the scope of the objectives outlined in the Board’s Multi-Year Plan,” says Director of Education David Euale. “These initiatives include resources for innovation, equity, data based decision making, e-Learning, increased support for Special Education and English Language Learner and school renewal – to name a few.”
In addition to staffing and capital (renovations and construction), resources to enhance existing programs such as the Board’s diversity program have been a focus of this year’s draft budget. Positions to support the various diversity components (ability, gender, faith, race/culture, socio-economic, sexual orientation/gender identity, and First Nation, Métis and Inuit) are currently contract roles, and the 2012-13 budget proposes full-time instructional program leads to provide additional services to students within these areas.
“The Government of Ontario and the Ministry of Education have made no bones about expectations of school boards under its austerity budget,” says Vrooman. “The strategies of the Halton District School Board continue to attempt to do more with less, and to prioritize spending based on local interests and local needs.”
“We can look forward to another year of continuous improvement,” Vrooman continues. “The extreme growth in student enrolment in Halton next year and in the foreseeable future will require significant and persistent investment in accommodation, and we look forward to working with our provincial partner in education to find innovative solutions to our ongoing capital challenges.”
The Board’s decision regarding the 2012-13 budget occurs at the Halton District School Board meeting on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, and copies of the budget and report are available on the Board’s website at: www.hdsb.ca
For additional information, contact:
Don Vrooman, Chair Amy Collard, Vice-Chair
Halton District School Board
905-335-3663, (877) 618-3456