Budget Process and Staffing Update – April 9
Trustees and senior staff have been meeting at the Finance & Facilities Committee to work through the budget since March. This year, HWDSB is responding to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to collective agreement timelines and procedures outlined in our budget development process, it is essential that at this time HWDSB share with staff and the community a fiscal update and impacts on staff.
Dawn Danko, Chair of the Board, shared the following message:
“Among the many challenges of this pandemic, the last thing that Trustees want to do is make decisions that will cause additional anxiety for our staff. We value our educators and appreciate how hard they have worked this year to keep our students safe while learning in school.
Unfortunately, we must meet our collective agreement staffing timelines without funding information from the Ministry of Education. That is why, we are regrettably informing 34 Elementary Teachers who work within system roles that they are surplus. Following the spring break, we will be informing a further 100 staff – primarily Elementary Teachers, Early Childhood Educators, and staff impacted by school closures, that their roles are redundant.
Lower staffing levels is the result of a significant decline in enrolment, attributed to COVID-19 related factors. These staff are vital members of the HWDSB family, and we are sorry that we must take this step during an already uncertain time.
The Grants for Student Needs (GSNs), which are our funding information from the Ministry of Education, are expected by the middle of April. We hope to reinstate as many of these positions as we can, if not for September, when we can rebound from this enrolment decline post-pandemic.”
- HWDSB anticipates a reduction in student enrolment by about 1,100 elementary students due to the on-going pandemic
- Additional costs attributed to the COVID-19 response
- The Ministry of Education confirmed that no additional or stabilization funding grants will be provided
Staffing Impacts to-date
- System staff: 34 Elementary Teachers who work within system roles will be declared surplus
- School-based staff: 100 staff – primarily Elementary Teachers, Early Childhood Educators, and staff impacted by school closures, will be declared redundant
- Access 2021-22 School Staffing Report
As in previous years, the budget planning and development process will move forward with a focus on supporting student achievement and well-being. The budget priorities, confirmed through public consultation and approved by the Board of Trustees, support the priorities in HWDSB’s Strategic Directions:
- Improving Student Achievement;
- Mental Health and Well-Being;
- School Revitalization;
- Special Education; and
- 21st Century Learning.
- Ministry of Education to release Grants for Students Needs (GSNs) and Partnership & Priority Funds (PPFs) expected mid-April
- Next Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting is April 21, 2021
- Balance budget expected to pass in June, 2021
Visit the 2020-21 Budget Process and Staffing Updates website to view relevant reports and presentations.