Public board budget invests in IT, student well-being

The York Region District School Board has approved a 2022-23 operating budget of $1.5 billion that invests in information technology, student well-being and English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.

“The 2022-23 Budget reflects the Board’s commitment to supporting programs and services that directly affect student learning and well-being,” says Chair Allan Tam. “While facing a very challenging financial environment, it was our focus to ensure our students were not affected with staffing reductions.”

The budget includes a projected deficit of $29 million, which the Board says is primarily due to declining enrollment resulting from the pandemic and ongoing Ministry funding shortfalls in several areas.

The Board plans to use $29 million in reserves to balance the budget. Because the budget includes the use of reserves greater than one per cent, it must be approved by the Minister of Education. The budget includes a draft deficit elimination plan to balance the budget over the next two years without using reserves.

Trustee and Finance and Property Committee Chair David Sherman says the Board incorporated “valuable feedback” from YRDSB community members to “prioritize resources and supports for our students.”

Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer Vidyia Maharaj echoes those comments. “Although the Board continues to experience budget shortfalls, in response to public feedback through the Board’s consultation, the $1.5 billion budget includes key investment in areas including student and staff mental health and well-being, information technologies and ESL teachers.”

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