Trustees Approve Budget Reductions to Balanced Budget for 2019-20
On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) approved the Operating Budget Plan for the 2019-20 school year that required $67.8 million in staff reductions and changes to program/service delivery. The Board is required by law to approve a balanced budget by June 30.
To learn more, please read the news release, backgrounder and information below.
School boards across Ontario face unique challenges this year with balancing their operating budgets because of millions of dollars in funding reductions by the Ontario Ministry of Education. At the TDSB, trustees approved $67.8 million in reductions to staff and changes to program/service delivery to balance the budget. That $67.8 million included a $42.1 million cut in provincial government funding and a budget shortfall of $25.7 million. The operating budget of about 3.4 billion will continue to support the TDSB’s commitment to equity, and the achievement and well-being of all students. The 2019-20 budget aligns with the Board’s Multi-year Strategic Plan.
Among the various reductions were significant cuts to central administration where we will save over $13 million and a reduction of 7 Superintendents. Some proposed reductions were modified to lessen the impact including reductions to Saturday International Language Programs, Outdoor Education and Bussing for French Programs and Gifted Education.
While the focus of the Board’s attention has been on budget reductions, trustees approved budget investments for the 2019-20 school year that in some cases exceed the Ministry’s grant allocation. For example, we will invest more in Special Education than what the Ministry provides and maintain funding for school and student safety, support for Early Years, Early Years Literacy & Intervention, Model Schools as well as important initiatives in Equity, Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism.
Collectively, trustees made changes to the proposed budget reductions based on more than 100 public delegations and more than 250 written submissions as well as many meetings, calls and emails with constituents. Trustees were also guided by the reaction of more than 15,000 on line comments about the budget strategic drivers.
Following the trustees’ approval of the balanced operating budget, TDSB Chair Robin Pilkey issued a statement. Learn more about the budget and consultation process.
How You Can Comment on Ministry of Education Budget Reductions: We have received many questions and concerns about the $42.1 million in Ministry of Education funding reductions to the TDSB budget. The most common question is: Who do we contact if we have concerns about the Ministry of Education funding reductions? These are provincial government decisions approved by the Minister of Education who directs the Ministry of Education to implement the funding reductions. School boards are required by law to balance their budgets. To achieve that balance, the Board must decide where in their budget they will reduce programs, services and staff totaling the shortfall of $67.8 million.
If you have concerns or questions about the Ministry of Education budget reductions, you can also contact the Minister of Education:
Hon. Lisa M. Thompson | Minister | 416-325-2600 | firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local Member of Provincial Parliament.
Questions and Answers: You can learn more about the proposed program, service and staff reductions in the Questions and Answers from FBEC Meetings listed below.