HWDSB Budget Meets Student Needs Despite Challenges
Hamilton, Ontario – June 18, 2019: In a difficult budget year, Trustees at Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board approved a balanced budget in the amount of $568 million by using guiding principles and contingency funds to meet student needs and protect areas that support achievement and well-being.
“Local trustees take our role of setting Board direction and allocating resources to deliver programs and services that support our students and families very seriously,” said Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board. “This budget year was challenging as we responded to changes that were the result of local needs and imposed directions by the provincial government. In spite of increased class size changes, reductions to staffing and loss of course availability, Trustees took measures to lessen the impact for students and maintained fiscal accountability.”
Trustee actions taken to support the 2019-20 Budget include:
- Maintained student focus by setting budget priorities, which include Improving Literacy, Improving Mathematics, School Revitalization, Special Education, Student Supports, and 21st Century Learning
- Increased contingency funds to minimize the impact of secondary class size changes on programming
- Redirected investments to support mental health, special education, literacy and mathematics
- Adhered to collective agreement staffing timelines to respect valued workforce
- Implemented a hiring freeze on additional management and executive positions
The Ministry of Education provided school boards with Teacher Job Protection Funding that would allow a phased approach to class size changes over four years. The funding provides boards where the changes in funding classroom teachers exceeds the actual attrition and other voluntary leaves. Approximately twenty-five secondary teachers have been recalled, reducing the original redundancy announcement from 99 to 74 employees. The projected class size at the secondary level is projected to be an average of 22.4 students.
“A balanced budget means local control over the programs and strategies that directly impact student performance,” said Johnstone. “Local trustees will continue to advocate for our students. We appreciate all of our staff for the work they did to meet student needs in light of this difficult budget year.”
Shawn McKillop, APR
Manager, Communications and Community Engagement
C: 905.515.6227 | email@example.com