OCDSB 2022-23 Annual Budget Approved

OCDSB 2022-23 Annual Budget Approved
Posted on 06/15/2022
OCDSB 2022-23 Annual Budget Approved

At a Special Board meeting on June 14, 2022, Trustees approved the OCDSB 2022-23 operating budget of $1.056 billion and capital budget of $124.5 million.

For 2022-2023, the staff-recommended budget is focused on maintaining supports for students while continuing to manage the additional costs of measures designed to maintain safe and healthy schools and working environments.

The budget includes funds to continue to support the work required to achieve the goals of the strategic plan. This will support:

  • The continued need to support investments in technology to student learning, including devices, software licenses and network infrastructure;
  • Important investments in staffing to support equity, human rights and inclusion objectives;
  • The continued focus on mental health supports for students and staff, including reengagement initiatives with students; and
  • Ensuring resources and support for school administration in addressing student supervision.

Trustee Sandra Schwartz, Committee of the Whole Budget Chair: 

“I am very proud of this budget and the work done by the Board to ensure we focus on supporting our students while we also deliver on our strategic priorities. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Chief Financial Officer Michael Carson and Financial Services Manager Kevin Gardner for their leadership and sound financial guidance, both in this budget and over many years at the OCDSB. Their hard work and foresight has ensured the District is well positioned going forward.”

Enrolment estimates for the upcoming school year project an increase in 1,187 students for an average daily enrolment of 74,165 elementary and secondary students. This increase will have a direct impact on various grants, including an additional $12.0 million in funding compared to the previous year. Further increases will also be received for special education ($4.4 million), Indigenous education ($1.9 million), and mental health and wellbeing ($1.1 million).

Annually, staff evaluates significant risk factors that could affect financial outcomes. Repercussions of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic represent a continuing uncertainty, however, it is hoped that high vaccination rates and recent improvements in hospitalization rates will allow students and staff to return to a more normal learning environment for the coming year.

In addition, significant inflationary pressure has been observed by the District as a result of global supply chain issues and, more recently, the conflict in Ukraine. Although some provision to cover the increased costs of supplies, services, and utilities is reflected in the recommended budget, prudent management of financial resources will be required to help maintain a healthy learning environment with appropriate supports for students.

Under the Education Act, the OCDSB is required to adopt a "compliant" budget by June 30, 2022. The legislation allows the use of accumulated surplus to balance the operating budget, but it also restricts the use in any school year to 1.0% of the operating grants provided by the Ministry. The 2022-23 budget includes an expected deficit of $9.2 million (a decrease from the previous deficit of $14.9 million in the previous years’ budget). The OCDSB budget is compliant with Ministry requirements.

Trustee Lynn Scott, Chair of the Board: 

"As we transition out of the pandemic, I'm optimistic that this budget will provide a good foundation for important work in the 2022-23 school year. Resources will be in place to restore and improve student achievement and well-being. The necessary structures have been created to support changes in practice to advance progress in the area of human rights, equity and diversity. The OCDSB will continue to build a culture of innovation, caring and social responsibility, by engaging with our staff, students, families and community partners."

Highlights from 2021-22 Budget

  • Total operating budget of $1.056 billion 
  • Total capital spending authorization is $124.5 million, including $35.0 million in capital priorities (such as the building of new schools), $9.0 million in school renewal, and $49.1 million in school condition improvement.
  • 8,326.93 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, an increase of 218.53 (FTE). 
    • The increases are primarily due to increased enrolment, although some refinements to staffing were made in response to the special education needs of students and in response to Board-identified priorities in the areas of literacy and guidance. In total, elementary staffing increased by 61.69 FTE while secondary staffing increased by 14.99 FTE.
    • Additional special education supports addressing both learning and mental health needs (+40.50 FTE);
    • 6.0 FTE principal and vice-principal positions to support the opening of three new schools; and in response to priority areas of de-streaming, implementation of the Indigenous, Human Rights and Equity Roadmap, and implementation of the Student Achievement Through Equity (SATE) initiative.
  • $137.4 million in spending on special education ($2.0 million increase in from previous year)
    • The budget includes adjustments to reflect the addition of a new specialized class for students with developmental disabilities and the addition of educational assistants and professional supports who will promote student well-being and mental health, student development and reengagement support.
  • $1.9 million increase for Indigenous education
  • $1.1 million increase for mental health and welling

Background:

More details on the budget can be found here: https://www.ocdsb.ca/cms/One.aspx?portalId=55478&pageId=173455

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