Board approves balanced budget for 2011-2012 school year
For Immediate Release
June 29, 2011
GUELPH, Ontario — The Upper Grand District School Board approved a balanced budget of $343 million for the 2011-2012 school year last night.
“This is a good news budget for our staff and students,” said Director of Education Martha Rogers. “The focus remains on the classroom.”
The operating budget totals $322,711,226 and covers salaries and benefits for teachers, school support staff, textbooks, classroom supplies and other classroom expenditures. It also funds school office staff, administration, school operations and trustee expenses which are considered non-classroom costs.
The accommodation budget of $20,097,373 is designated for capital and building renewal costs, and also goes to the repayment of loans and debentures. The province assumed all existing board debt last year, and provides a special grant to cover those costs.
“In the teaching area, we have an increase in elementary teachers as a result of increasing enrolment in the primary division,” said Rogers. Enrolment in elementary schools has been positively affected by the implementation of full-day kindergarten.
The board will also reduce class sizes in grades 4 to 8 next year, investing $3.4 million to hire an additional 38.2 teachers (FTE).
The number of secondary teachers has been maintained, despite the beginning of an enrolment decline.
The budget maintains support for students through the provision of funding for literacy coach teachers, and several programs that involve parents and community partners. “In light of the economic downturn that has affected so many families in our district, we have increased the proposed spending in this area for individual children who cannot afford to participate in programs or activities,” Rogers said.
The province temporarily reduced the allocation for computers in the classroom, but Upper Grand has maintained the board’s computer refresh program despite the reduction in revenue. “The refresh program is a principals’ top budget priority,” said Rogers.
“I might also add that our Board continues to support the concept of teacher librarians and have not reduced in this area.”
This year the board reduced walking distances for grade 7 and 8 students from 4.8 km to 3.2 km, and for students in grades 9 through12 from 4.8 km to 3.5 km. These reductions will be maintained in 2011-2012.
Ministry grants to the board were up 3.8% over the previous year, covering the cost of the salary increases for staff previously negotiated under the provincial framework agreements. Those contracts expire on August 31, 2012.
For more information:
Maggie McFadzen, Communications Officer
519-822-4420 ext. 725
Mark Weidmark, Administrative Officer – Communications
Categories: Media Releases