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HWDSB’s Approved 2022-23 Budget Supports COVID Recovery

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HWDSB’s Approved 2022-23 Budget Supports COVID Recovery

Hamilton, Ontario – May 31, 2022: Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Trustees approved a balanced budget of $625.3 million that aligns resources to school operations and Board priorities, with a significant portion directed to COVID learning recovery as well as special education, mental health, safe schools and equity.

With a fiscal year that starts on September 1, all Ontario school boards must develop and maintain a balanced budget that complies with the Ministry of Education requirements such as class sizes. The HWDSB budget also demonstrates the values of the Board of Trustees and our community.

In a statement, Board Chair Dawn Danko said:

“This budget reflects our commitment to support students, staff and families as we recover from the pandemic, with quality programs, services and supports. We need to focus on learning recovery in safe, equitable and inclusive schools.”

Trustees approved a set of Budget priorities after a public consultation, to help allocate resources in alignment with HWDSB Strategic Directions. These priorities guide how HWDSB allocates any additional funding, or prevents reductions in areas of strategic importance.

Highlights of the 2022-23 Budget include:

COVID-19 Learning Recovery Fund

HWDSB received $7.1 million and will use these funds to support schools and students, through enhanced cleaning, mental health and remote learning. In addition, elementary teachers have been added to reduce in-person class sizes. Approximately $3 million of COVID Learning Recovery funding remains to be allocated by the end of June to support students in 2022-23.


The Budget reflects staff changes related to this projected increase in enrolment. The budget estimates Average Daily Enrolment (ADE) of 36,389 elementary students, an increase of 0.8% from 2021-22, due to families moving into our community and students returning to school in person. It estimates an ADE of 13,942 secondary students, up 1.4% from 2021-22 due to a larger cohort starting Grade 9 this fall. Overall projected ADE is 50,331, a 1% increase from the 2021-22 Revised Budget Estimates.

Improving Student Learning and Achievement

  • Funding will be maintained for Reading Specialists, who work directly with students and staff in Kindergarten and Grade 1 classrooms.
  • Support for Graduation Coaches, Math and supporting Grade 9 de-streaming.
  • Learning recovery funding will be used to reduce elementary class sizes.
  • Additional $3 million in learning recovery budget to be finalized.

Mental Health and Well-being

  • Four additional Social Workers were added using GSN funding.
  • Support for implementation of the Safe Schools Action Plan: Child and Youth Care Practitioner to support elementary Gateway program; Superintendent on Special Assignment maintained; Safe Intervention and Violence Prevention position added; Professional development for Board staff.
  • Support for implementation of the Board’s Equity Action Plan: Graduation Coach, Temporary Employment Equity Officer, Human Rights Program Coordinator.

Specialized Services

  • Adding seven FTE Child and Youth Care Practitioners and two specific supports for students. Support for secondary students in Special Education classes through two additional classes.
  • Movement of special class teachers between elementary and secondary to support student movement.
  • Additional Specialized Services Paraprofessional support, while maintaining EA support.
  • Maintain the increase to the hourly rate of Supply Educational Assistants to reduce unfilled jobs.

21st century Learning and Digital Resources

Increased security and improved infrastructure to support blended learning, including:

  • Continuation of 1:1 device deployment in secondary schools.
  • Piloting deployment of laptops in one secondary school.
  • Deploying additional classroom kits in High Priority Schools.
  • Supporting remote learners through device deployment.

School Revitalization

  • Plan for school revitalization and maintenance is incorporated into the 2022-23 Capital Budget, which totals $99.3 million.
  • This includes continued support for the Annual Capital Plan including benchmark work and renewal, as well as continued new construction based on approved projects.

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Media Contact:

Shawn McKillop, APR
Manager of Communications and Community Engagement
Cell: 905-515-6227 | smckillo@hwdsb.on.ca


Facts about the 2022-23 Budget Estimates:

  • The operating expenditures are projected to be $625.3 million, an increase of approximately $7.1 million or 1.14% from the 2021-22 Budget Estimates.
  • Operating expenditures include a salary component of approximately 86.6% and a non-salary component of 13.4%.
  • There are no increases to salaries for unionized employees, as the 2019-2022 Central Labour Agreements are being negotiated. However, the salary benchmarks included an increase in salaries to be set aside as a contingency for future labour negotiations.
  • Total Enrolment projection is 50,331 Average Daily Enrolment, with Elementary: 36,389 ADE and Secondary 13,942 ADE) an overall increase of .97% from the 2021-22 Budget Estimates.
  • Total staff 5,379 (Program instruction: 4,805, Program support/non-instruction: 567, and capital school renewal: 7).

Budget Development Timelines:

  • January 23, 2022– Board approved Key Parameters and Assumptions to Guide Budget
  • March 28, 2022– Board approved Budget Priorities
  • April 11, 2022 – Board approved School Based Staffing
  • February to May
    • Work with Executive Council to make recommendations to balance budget. Information presented at Finance and Facilities
  • March 25, 2022– Release of Technical Papers and GSN
  • May 2, 2022 – Preliminary Special Education Budget to SEAC
  • May 5, 2022 – Presentation of Budget to Finance & Facilities
  • May 30, 2022 – Budget to Board of Trustees for Approval
  • June 30, 2022 – Budget Due to Ministry

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Updated on Monday, May 30, 2022.
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