School board budget ‘prioritizes learning’

Public school board trustees have approved a balanced operating budget for the 2024-2025 school year that includes funding for primary literacy teachers and student technology devices to support teaching and learning in classrooms.

Highlights of the York Region District School Board’s $1.71-billion budget also include resource support to provide each kindergarten to Grade 2 class with early reading screening tools.

The budget was informed by public consultation surveys and both advisory committee and staff input. “This process ensures that the budget aligns with the needs of our students and feedback from the community and educators,” says Director of Education Bill Cober. “The priority areas identified in this budget are student-focused, classroom-based support staff, resources and technologies in the classroom, mental health and well-being, and equity.”

The Board has also invested in a technology cost-sharing program to support school fundraising for computer devices and enhanced support for secondary students learning multiple languages. The budget earmarks funding for additional special education staff, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and special education resource teachers to address students’ special needs, health and well-being. Funds have also been allocated to Indigenous student advisors, an equity consultant and additional graduation coaches to support ‘underperforming and underserved’ students in a bid to boost graduation rates.

“We have listened and responded to the needs of York Region students, families and educators,” says Trustee Michael Chen, Finance and Property Standing Committee Chair. “The Board has delivered a balanced budget that prioritizes the learning and professional needs of York Region students and staff.”

The Board is the third largest school district in Ontario, with more than 130,000 students in 180 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. Two new schools are opening in 2024-25.

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