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York school board approves $1.5B budget

94.1 per cent of the 2019-2020 budget is allocated to classroom instruction and school operations

At its July 9 Board meeting, York Region District School Board approved a balanced 2019-2020 budget of $1,515,000,000.

This year, 94.1 per cent of the budget is allocated to classroom instruction and school operations. The remaining balance is allocated to governance, administration and transportation.

“We are proud to deliver a balanced budget that is aligned with our strategic priorities and reflects the commitments our Board has made to all of our stakeholder groups,” said Corrie McBain, Chair of the Board. “With recent changes in funding from the provincial government, our Board has focused on approving a budget that supports students and minimizes the effects of reductions on classroom spending.”

York Region District School Board Trustee and Budget Committee Chair David Sherman added, “I am pleased that we have a balanced budget, and through a review of our expenditures to ensure responsible use of taxpayer funds, we have identified a number of efficiencies while providing students and our front line staff with the resources they need.”

“The finance department worked in close consultation with the York Region District School Board Trustees, employees and system partners,” said Wanda Muirhead-Toporek, Chief Financial Officer for the York Region District School Board. “The changes in funding from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020 resulted in a loss of revenue of approximately $26 million for 2019-2020, making the budget process challenging. The Board has benefited from being a growth board, and therefore a significant amount of funding reduction was mitigated by the substantial student population growth of approximately 2.3 per cent.”

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work of our Board’s Trustees, staff and partners who collaborated over the past year to deliver another balanced budget that puts our students at the centre,” said Louise Sirisko, Director of Education for YRDSB. “I would also like to thank Wanda Muirhead, our Chief Financial Officer, for her many years of service and wish her all the best as she begins her retirement in September.

Highlights of the 2019-2020 budget include:

  • Secondary class size increase.
  • Reduction in Designated Early Childhood Educator (DECE) funding.
  • Attrition Protection Allocation.
  • Local Priorities Fund, Cost Adjustment Allocation and Human Resources Transition Supplement which ends Aug. 31, 2019, resulting in over $12M of funding loss.
  • Two new schools opening next year.
  • An increase for Special Education funding due to Board growth.
  • Increase for student transportation and the non-staff portion of the school operations grant, including utilities.
  • Continuation of a Cash Management Strategy designed to reduce Provincial borrowing costs by reducing cash flow to boards based on their financial position and investments.

Quick Facts:f

  • 94.1 per cent of the budget is allocated to classroom instruction and school operations, with the remaining 5.9 per cent allocated to governance, administration and transportation.
  • York Region District School Board’s budget for 2019-2020 is $1,515,00,000– an increase of 1.38 per cent from the approved 2018-2019 budget of $1,494,270,000.
  • Budget revenues are derived from Grants for Student Needs from the Province of Ontario, which includes property taxes transferred from the municipalities, miscellaneous revenues comprised of tuition fees for international students, rental revenues and other revenues, including interest revenue.
  • The budget will serve an enrolment of over 127,000 students (nominal numbers).
  • Two new elementary schools are scheduled to open during the 2019-2020 school year.
  • York Region District School Board is the largest employer in the region with over 15,000 staff members across nine municipalities.

Currently, York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 124,000 students in 178 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about York Region District School Board, please visit the Board website and follow @YRDSB on Twitter.