At today’s meeting of the Toronto District School Board, Trustees approved the 2020-21 operating budget, which includes additional investments to support the safe and effective return to school in September.
Given the uncertainty around how the pandemic will progress, COVID-19 budget impacts have only been included for the first four months of the school year. The total impact (to both expenditures and revenues) for September to December 2020 is projected to be $22.5M.
Areas that have been allocated additional resources for the first fourth months of the year include: personal protective equipment ($1.5M), caretaking and cleaning supplies ($4.2M), health and safety staff ($0.3M), technology ($4.9M), special education supports ($2.1M), professional development ($2.6M) and translation services ($0.2M).
The loss of revenue related to permits and international student tuition fees is projected to be $6.7M.
As the TDSB’s projected deficit ($29.3M) is primarily due to additional COVID- 19 costs, the budget plan uses reserves to offset the deficit and balance the budget. As required by the Ministry, a deficit recovery plan has been developed.
- The TDSB’s 2020-21 operating budget is projected to be approximately $3.4B. School boards are required to pass a balanced operating budget each year. This year, the deadline has been extended to August 19, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the late release of Ministry funding.
- On July 30, the Ministry of Education announced $309M of additional COVID- 19 funding across the province. While this funding helps offset some COVID-19 costs, the TDSB continues to request that the Ministry provides the additional funding required to support all costs of re-opening safely next year.
- As per Ontario Regulation 280/19, school boards can have a deficit of up to the lesser of 1% of the school board’s operating revenue or the accumulated surplus from the previous year.
“Our focus continues to be making sure that schools re-open safely in September, with student and staff health and well-being prioritized. This budget does not include any reductions or changes to current operations, other than additional resources to protect against COVID- 19, so that all efforts can be focussed on the safe return to school.” - Carlene Jackson, Interim Director of Education, TDSB
“This budget prioritizes the health and well-being of TDSB students, staff and the community. The additional funding provided by the Ministry helps to offset some of the TDSB’s COVID-19 costs, but more is needed to fully support re- opening our schools safely next year, including allocations for additional teachers so that we can keep class sizes as low as possible.” - Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB