Trustees approve a balanced budget for the 2019-2020 school year

Trustees approved a balanced budget for the 2019-2020 school year at the June 24, 2019 Board Meeting.

Trustees received a balanced budget with revenues of $775.5M, including a capital budget of $57.2M that meets our legislation requirements.

Despite shortened timelines, our Financial Services Team worked diligently with all departments to ensure spending trends were analyzed, making adjustments where necessary to ensure financial stability while we work towards achieving our operational goals.

Quotes:

” Trustees ensure that our students are supported in their learning journey through our operating budget. Having resources and supports available to our students is essential to their academic achievement and well-being. I want to thank our Financial Services staff for their hard work during this challenging budget process. There were difficult decisions made, which included redeploying central staff and identifying efficiencies in the classroom. We are facing funding challenges this year, and in the years to come, but the trustees of the Waterloo Region District School Board are committed to providing quality public education to our students and families in Waterloo Region.

– Jayne Herring, Chairperson

“Collaboration and consultation with our staff and community members is a central focus of our budget process. It allows us to position the board for long-term financial success while making sure we meet our provincial requirements. I am proud of the work of our Financial Services Team for developing this balanced budget in a short timeframe. Their hard work year-round ensures our financial stability as we move through funding changes in the coming years.  I would like to thank trustees for approving the budget that will help our students succeed as we continue to focus on their achievement and well-being.”

– Matthew Gerard, Coordinating Superintendent, Business Services

Budget Highlights:

Changes in Funding:

  • Pupil Foundation Grant – (Secondary) The average class size for the 2019-2020 school year has increased from 22:1 to 28:1. This reduces the number of funded teachers (per 1000 students) from 42.61 to 33.48. The Secondary Programming amount, which provided funding for 1.02 teachers (per 1000 students) is no longer funded for the 2019-2020 school year. This financial impact is a reduction of $20,824,397.
  • Pupil Foundation Grant (Elementary) Average class sizes for Grades 4-8 have increased from 23.84 to 24.5 for the 2019-2020 school year. This reduces the number of funded teachers (Per 1000 students) from 41.95 to 40.82. The number of Early Childhood Educators funded (per 1000 students) also decreased from 1.14 to 1.0. The financial impact is a reduction of $1,738,521
  • Local Priorities – Local Priorities Fund, established in 2017-18 during the collective bargaining process, expires August 31, 2019. This funding supported approximately 90 FTE positions this school year. Permanent staff hired as a result of this funding is absorbed within the 2019-2020 budget. The financial impact is a reduction of $6,518,694.
  • Attrition Protection Funding – Attrition funding, new for the 2019-2020 school year, will be provided for up to four years to allow boards to phase in class size changes. This funding allows for changes in staffing through “natural attrition” – retirements, resignations and voluntary leaves. The financial impact is an increase of $19,557,693.

Targeted Ministry Investments

These investments are made through Priority and Partnership Funds and may change from year-to-year based on Ministry priorities. Some investment priorities, such as math, continue into the 2019-2020 school year. Targeted investment priorities include new Indigenous strategic priorities, mental health workers in secondary schools, the implementation for the revised Health and Physical Education and Grade 10 career studies course curriculum and the well-being and mental health bundle. At this time, only provincial allocation amounts are available. We await more information on board funding from the Ministry of Education.

Capital Funding

  • The capital budget for the 2019-2020 school year is $57.2M
  • Additionally, the School Condition Improvement grant sits at $23.2M, an increase of $8.8M over last year. This grant supports capital renewal to help boards revitalize and renew aged building components that have exceeded or will exceed their useful life cycle.
  • The School Renewal Allocation increased by 29% from last year to $9.5M.