Grand Erie Trustees Approve Budget for 2021-22 School Year
Grand Erie District School Board Trustees approved the operating and capital budgets for the 2021-22 school year during a Board Meeting Monday night.
The total operating budget for the 2021-22 school year is $338 million, an increase of $4.6 million, or 1.40 per cent, from the 2020-21 budget ($333 million). The capital budget includes $24.5 million to address the major and minor capital needs of the system.
The budget development for 2021-22 has incorporated a significant investment from the Ministry of Education to assist Boards with planning and implementing safety protocols for the upcoming school year that may be required a result of evolving public health regulations for COVID-19.
Budget highlights include continued investments in the classroom to support student achievement, including an increased investment of $215,000 in Special Education to provide behaviour expertise and support student mental health, as well as $50,000 to support learning commons conversions for all schools. The board is also hiring nine additional secondary teachers, 19.5 full-time educational assistants positions, a System Principal for Indigenous education and equity, a special education technology teacher, and an equity instructional coach.
Grand Erie is also making significant investments in technology, including the investment of $436,000 to continue the Board’s long-term computer purchase plan; $390,000 to complete the Broadband Modernization Program; and $289,000 in new software to support student registration, student pathways, staff professional development and cyber security.
The board continues to invests in upgrades and renovations to school buildings through its Capital Budget. With the help of provincial funding, Grand Erie is investing $19.75 million to improve the conditions at schools, including HVAC systems, learning commons conversations, security system upgrades, window and door upgrades, electrical systems, roofing, and paving. The board is also investing $3.29 million in school renewal projects through the Community Partnership and Incentive Program and Pride of Place initiatives, as well as interior finishing and accessibility upgrade projects. $1.5 million is being set aside for technology purchases, equipment and furniture replacements, and vehicle purchases.
The total projected student enrollment for the Board for 2021-22 is anticipated to be approximately 25,496; a slight decrease of 251 from the 2020-21 estimated enrolment of 25,747.
The budgets will be submitted to the Ministry as required by the submission deadline of June 30, 2021. For more information, please see the 2021-22 Budget Approval Report (pages 3-7) here.