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UGDSB approves the 2021-22 school year budget

For Immediate Release
June 23, 2021

GUELPH, Ontario – The Upper Grand District School Board has passed the 2021-2022 school year budget.

The budget is compliant with Ministry requirements. Trustees approved an Operating Budget of $426,387,256. The 2021-22 Capital Budget was approved at $48,225,205. The Board also approved the use of $4,094,821 from accumulated surplus to balance the Operating Budget.

Provincial Context

In May, Ontario’s Ministry of Education provide information related to Grants for Student Needs (GSN) and Priorities and Partnership Funding (PPF), which are the primary funding sources for school boards in Ontario.

Through Priorities and Partnership Funding, the province will provide additional COVID-19 related funding to support additional staffing in schools, transportation supports, special education and mental health supports, and school operation supports. The supports include funds for re-engaging students and reading assessment supports. In addition to the PPF amounts, the Ministry has added to the GSN technology and mental health funding that was originally introduced in 2020-21.

As per Ministry direction, school boards are expected to budget using the first half of the COVID-19 Supports funding allocated. The Ministry will confirm the use of the remaining resources, if needed for the second half of the year, in the fall, pending vaccine distribution and public health advice.

Accountability and Limitations

The Ministry will impose cash flow constraints on boards that do not comply with Full Day Kindergarten and Primary Class Size requirements. The Ministry requires that boards submit a balanced budget or a budget where the deficit does not exceed the lesser of accumulated surplus or one per cent of operating allocations. School boards will find out by the fall of 2021 whether there will be an allowance to have a deficit up to 2% due to COVID-19 related expenditures. The Ministry also provides limitations on how expenditures are allocated.

In the Upper Grand District School Board

The total 2021-22 UGDSB budget includes $409,539,444 in GSN revenue and $12,752,992 in Other Revenue sources. The GSN amount includes adjustments for enrolment and benchmark changes, additional technology and mental health funding. The GSN amount also includes funding for Specialist High Skills Major programming and After-School Skills Development (ASSD) programs that was previously funded from PPF.

The board allocations of the PPF reflects an increase of $1.4 million. This increase is primarily driven by additional COVID-19 supports, partially offset by the transfer of amounts into the GSN.

Enrolment projections for 2021-2022 indicates a slight decrease in the Elementary Panel and growth in the Secondary Panel. Elementary staffing increases by 6.2 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) elementary teachers primarily due to funding related to COVID and Learning Re-engagement supports. There is an increase in secondary staffing of 8.5 FTE secondary teachers, primarily due to funding related to COVID and Learning Re-engagement supports. COVID related funding also supported increases in Mental Health staff and Coordinators & Consultants.

The budget was developed according to the Board’s Guiding Principles for Budget, focusing the allocation of human and financial resources on the success and well-being of every child, with an emphasis on the Board Improvement Plan for Student Needs, equity principles to ensure the well-being and achievement of all students and staff, accountability, high quality teaching, strong leadership in all areas of the organization, and consideration for the impact of climate change as it relates to the future well-being of our students, community and planet.

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