HWDSB’s Approved 2021-22 Budget includes COVID-19 Supports
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Trustees approved a balanced budget of $597.8 million that aligns resources to school operations and Board priorities. A significant portion of this budget is directed to support the impacts of COVID-19, a safe return to school, learning recovery and student well-being.
In a statement, Board Chair Dawn Danko said: “Like other sectors, education has been responding to COVID-19 for more than a year. While we are encouraged to return to normal as soon as possible, we know that we need to transition school operations – with safety in mind – as we move to end the pandemic next year. Our commitment in this approved budget is to maintain our high-quality programs, supports and services, while supporting the safe return to school and beyond.”
COVID-19 funding represents $5.4 million of this year’s budget. An additional 42 positions were added to the budget until January 31, 2022, using the COVID funding for additional staffing to increase mental health and special education supports, monitor and distribute PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), enhance cleaning and re-engage students.
As per Ministry direction, Trustees were able to direct staff to allocate $6 million from reserves to COVID-19 funding to add elementary school staff to promote distancing and learning recovery.
“We had hoped to not use to our reserves for additional staffing, but we feel confident that we have considered every measure possible to continue to keep our schools safe,” added Danko. “We also have recalled all staff who were declared redundant in April to reinstate their permanent placements. This is great news.”
This year’s budget represents more than COVID-19 relief, Trustees approved the Budget priorities with a focus to improve student achievement, support mental health and well-being, revitalize schools, advance 21st Century Learning, and fund special education supports and services. The budget also incorporates staff changes due to changes in enrolment as well as school closures and openings.
HWDSB also continues its commitment to ensure a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments. Staffing investments in Safe Schools and Equity, which include the addition of five child and youth care practitioners and two Equity consultants that will advance the important work to build a more positive and inclusive culture.
“This budget shows our values,” said Danko. “We thank staff for supporting Trustees through this year’s budget development process.”
2021-22 Budget Facts:
- The operating expenditures are projected to be $597.8 million, an increase of approximately $7.96 million or 1.35% from the 2020-21 Budget Estimates.
- Operating expenditures include a salary component of approximately 88.2% and a non-salary component of 11.8%
- Increases in salaries are in accordance with the 2019-20 Central Labour Extensions Agreements that are funded by the GSN
- Total Enrolment projection is 49,520 ADE (Elementary: 35,780 ADE and Secondary 13,740 ADE) an overall decrease in 2.18% from the 2020-21 Budget Estimates
- Total staff 5,277 (Program instruction: 4,682, Program support/non-instruction: 588, and capital school renewal: 7)
Budget Development Timelines:
- January 25: Finance & Facilities Committee supported the Board’s approval of the Key Parameters/Assumptions to Guide 2021-22 Budget Development
- March 29: Approval of Board Budget Priorities
- April 26: Approval of 2021-22 School-based Staffing
- May 4: The Ministry of Education released its Grants for Student Needs and Priority Partnership Funds to HWDSB
- June 14: Trustees approved the 2021-22 budget at the Board meeting
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Shawn McKillop, APR
Manager of Communications and Community Engagement
Cell: 905-515-6227 | email@example.com