The budget was brought forward by the Operations and Budget Committee of the Board which consists of Board staff and the following Trustees: Chair of the Operations and Budget Committee, Susan Thayer; Trustees Greg Bowman, Russell Reid; Vice Chair of the Board, Brent Rankin and Chair of the Board, Jennifer Sarlo.
Given the challenges of the pandemic, the Board wanted to ensure this budget reflected the needs of the system and included supports for the well-being of both students and staff, as per the Board’s strategic priorities.
The Board recognizes the Province of Ontario’s goal of a balanced budget and operating within a fiscally responsible environment. The Ministry has advised school boards to be diligent in managing costs during this time, as Provincial budgets remain strained. The budget includes the continuation of:
- Commitments to supports for Instructional Leadership and the Board Improvement plan objectives (Well-Being, Achievement, Engagement)
- Supports for Special Education and Mental Health Programming
- Capital Improvements in Schools
- Professional Development for Technology
- Commitments for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to COVID-19.
The following new enhancements are included in 2021-2022 through a combination of reallocations of existing budgets and new Ministry funding, based on a positive enrolment picture as we approach September 2021:
- Purchase of K-8 Digital Math Program Resources
- Special Education and Autism Resources
- Indigenous Graduation Coach Resources
- Commitments to Trades Program
- Family Math and Literacy Initiative
- Capital Improvements - Refreshing Classroom Sites at Many Schools
- Technology Improvements/ Upgrades to Infrastructure and Devices
Senior Board Administration and Trustees respect the need for careful management of public expenditures during this challenging pandemic time. Staff are now awaiting additional special project funding announcements and September 2021 enrolment figures. These may result in additional enhancements for 2021-22.
“The past fifteen months have been remarkably challenging. We are so fortunate and thankful for our staff who have, continuously, worked diligently to maintain operations and monitor finances, all while ensuring our students and families were supported with everything from resources, to food, to devices and internet connectivity. To bring this balanced budget and to see the work that has been done to keep our people, our facilities, our programs and our finances in good stead is impressive and encouraging and truly represents the ADSB mission statement, ‘Confident learners, caring citizens.’” Chair Jennifer Sarlo.