UCDSB passes $403M budget for 2022-23

·2 min read

BROCKVILLE – Trustees at the Upper Canada District School Board approved its $403 million budget for the 2022-23 school year June 1.

The budget is essentially a balanced-budget with the board posting a $200,000 surplus for compliance purposes. School boards in Ontario are not allowed to run year-to-year deficits. More than $360 million of the board’s funding comes from the Ministry of Education’s Grants for Student Needs program, which is per-pupil funding provided each year.

Program spending includes $50 million for special education, $5.2 million for Indigenous education, and $1.3 million for mental health and wellness.

The school board will spend $1.6 million for student technology like laptops and other computer equipment – $500,000 of this is earmarked for improving broadband services in schools.

The Ministry of Education has mandated all school boards in the province to continue offering remote learning for students in the 2022-23 school year. $600,000 is budgeted for this.

More than $2 million in spending will support the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship and Specialist High School Major programs during the school year. Another $3 million will be spent on improving student success with graduation rates and recovery efforts to make up for lost learning time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capital spending on retrofitting and improving school spaces, along with new construction is budgeted at $65 million for the school year. The board will continue on two major capital projects in the Brockville area: a new K-6 school on the west end, and an expansion of Westminister Public School.

Several capital projects are ongoing including the expansion of Williamstown Public School in South Glengarry – but the plans for a new Grade 7-12 secondary school in Cornwall continues to be stalled as the board attempts to secure a location for the new school. The project was approved five years ago to consolidate Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School and St. Lawrence Secondary School into one new central Cornwall facility.

Potential labour issues are on the horizon as contracts with all three unions – the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the Canadian Union of Public Employees – expire at the end of August.

The board’s approved budget awaits final approval from the Ministry of Education.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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