Wednesday, June 15, 2022
NNDSB approves $168.3 million compliant budget
At its meeting last night, trustees of Near North District School Board (NNDSB) approved the 2022-2023 budget, as recommended by the finance committee.
Finance Committee Chair John Cochrane provided a report and presentation of the compliant budget, which will have revenue and expenses of $168.3 million with a $62,930 surplus.
The budget process is managed through the lens of the board’s multi-year strategic plan (MYSP) ensuring that NNDSB is managed efficiently and is financially sustainable year over year.
Board Chair Jay Aspin says, “Our board is very pleased with all the contributors in our system that have assisted us in achieving our financial goals for this past year. Moving forward, our board has endorsed a 2022-23 budget that will continue to move the board solidly forward with many positive enhancements. Among the most notable for the coming year will be the consolidation of three elementary schools to a new Fricker elementary school in North Bay, and the consolidation of two elementary schools with an existing high school to build a combined K-12 school in Parry Sound. As well, we have invested in the second year of implementation of our multi-year strategic plan, focusing our priorities on student well-being and achievement which includes the tripling of the student mental health allocation.”
The Board heard that enrolment is expected to increase by 3.2 per cent and it is projected that there will be 141 more elementary students, and 161 more secondary students enrolled in NNDSB than this year. As a result, there were no teacher layoffs this spring.
NNDSB will receive $1.8 million as one-time funding through the COVID-19 Learning Recovery Fund to provide temporary staffing supports for learning recovery, the implementation of the first year of de-streamed Grade 9, delivering remote learning, supports for special education and maintaining enhanced cleaning standards. The board will focus these funds toward administrative and special education support for the virtual school, supporting early and later literacy, and English language learners across the board.
The board continues to budget for a deficit in special education, with a projected deficit of $192,000 in 2022-2023. The board continues to allocate additional funds to ensure that the special education needs of students across the board are well-supported, and special education staffing has remained consistent.
As prepared, the budget shows a $1.3 million transportation deficit. The Ministry will be allocating a two per cent increase included in the provincial allocation, and if the board receives a full two per cent increase to its transportation funding, the deficit would be reduced to $1 million.
This year, the Ministry of Education provided a 5.45 per cent cost update to the non-staff portion of the school operations allocation. This funding is to help boards manage increases in commodity prices (electricity, natural gas, facilities insurance, etc.) and additional money to support the increased costs of running ventilation systems longer and replacing filters more often.
Funding also included a provision for labour negotiations, as collective agreements expire on Aug. 31, 2022. The provision is subject to the outcome and conclusion of negotiations
The Ministry’s Pupil Foundation Grant includes a new component for broadband network operations. The funding supports network connectivity, infrastructure, security and operations in schools and board buildings.
There is a significant increase in funding for mental health. The Ministry has increased the base amount of the allocation to support student mental health from $100,858 to $301,723 per board and increased the per pupil amount from $1.34 to $6.67.
The board continues to examine staffing to ensure that positions, roles and responsibilities match Ministry funding parameters, and the four priorities of the MYSP. This ensures alignment of resources and initiatives to the goal of student achievement and well-being.
“It has been a challenging year to keep our staff and students safe in the midst of the second year of a very difficult and disruptive pandemic and remain fiscally responsible” says Chair Aspin. “We have approved a solid, strategic financial plan and look forward to the year ahead.”
For more information, please contact:
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170, extension 5010