At its June 29, 2010 Regular Board Meeting, the Halton Catholic District School Board approved the 2010-2011 budget estimates as presented with an operating budget of $261,780,077 and a PSAB operating budget of approximately $300.9 million, to be updated when the 2010-2011 budget estimates are submitted to the Ministry of Education.
"Despite ongoing budget challenges, we were able to achieve a balanced budget without cuts in any of the Board’s programs or services,” says Michael W. Pautler, Director of Education. “This budget reflects very modest staff increases due to a small increase in enrolment. In order to introduce new initiatives, departments tightened budget lines.”
New initiatives for the 2010-2011 school year are consistent with both the Board’s and the Ministry of Education’s objectives, such as:
- new Religion and Family Life Itinerant Teachers;
- 3 new Special Education Resource Teachers;
- the implementation of the first phase of the Ministry’s Early Learning Program;
- transportation for French Immersion students;
- ongoing faith formation initiatives for students and staff, as well as staff development initiatives;
- the expansion of the Thomas Merton Secondary School Continuing Education Program;
- the expansion and alteration of the Assumption Catholic Secondary School Special Education area; and
- the implementation of the first phase of the Board’s 5-year Strategic Plan.
The funding allocation is based on estimated enrolment. Elementary and secondary enrolment is based on Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrolment for October 31 and March 31. These two fixed-in-time FTE enrolment values are combined to produce the annualized Average Daily Enrolment (ADE). The Board anticipates a 0.8% increase in enrolment for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
2010-2011 is the first year that school boards will need to include their capital assets in their budgets using the Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAB) format, due to the Ministry of Education’s amendments to the financial accountability sections of the Education Act in Bill 218. Due to these changes, the deadline for budget submissions to the Ministry has been deferred to July 30, 2010.
In order to complete the budget estimates by the end of the current school year for presentation to the Board of Trustees, the budget estimates were prepared using the “old” method of reporting to the Ministry. Board staff is in the process of updating budget estimates to the new PSAB format for submission to the Ministry of Education by the July 30 deadline.
School boards continue to be responsible for setting their budgets. Education funding recognizes that school boards need flexibility to decide how to best allocate resources within those budgets. At the same time, there are restrictions set by the Ministry on how school boards may use certain components of their allocation. School boards continue to be accountable for how they use all the revenue that they receive from education funding grants, including the revenue that they can use flexibly.