The budget development process aligns the allocation of resources to the Board’s strategic priorities and operating goals identified in the annual operating plan. The
2020-2024 Multi-Year Plan list the Board’s key strategic commitments:
- Equity & Inclusion champion supportive and inclusive practices to ensure equitable access to positive opportunities and outcomes for all
- Mental Health & Well-Being strengthen safe and caring environments that promote well-being
- Learning & Achievement create learning conditions to elevate student achievement
- Environmental Leadership take action for a sustainable world
- Indigenous Perspectives & Awareness promote knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives and realities
Adaptability, Relationships, Innovation, Communication, Accountability and Engagement
are foundational elements of the plan which describe our values as an organization and how staff and stakeholders work together to achieve the goals outlined in the plan. The
Annual Operating Plan
provides details regarding the actions that support these five priority areas.
Over the past few years, the education sector has been presented with unprecedented challenges and funding pressures. The HDSB currently offers two learning models: in-person learning and virtual for both elementary and secondary students. The current anticipated deficit for the year is $7.5 million, as the Board continues to invest significant resources in additional staffing to support learning, student learning recovery, and mental health and well being of students. The focus has been on providing support to bridge the learning gaps, supporting the mental health and well-being of students and staff and creating a safe and healthy environment through additional cleaning and sanitation, increased ventilation and use of personal protective equipment. Many of these measures are funded through one-time grants which will not be announced until the spring, when the Ministry releases the education funding announcements.
The Ministry has four main areas of priority for next year:
- Reading supports, in particular for early learners
- Math supports, in particular to support transition to high school and destreaming
- Attendance support and monitoring
- Investment in skilled trades programs. At this time, it is unclear what, if any, timed investments to expect, compared to the current year. Another challenge is the ongoing central negotiations process, which may result in changes that will have to be implemented later in the budget process, or during the school year.
The HDSB receives most of its funding from the province in the form of Grants for Student Needs. Details about education funding can be accessed on the
Ministry of Education website
. Most of the funding school boards receive is tied to mandated class sizes and staffing ratios while other areas of the funding are “enveloped” and thus are restrictive in how they are used. As a result, it is likely the Board will have to commit further reserves to address priorities identified in the Multi-Year and Operating plans.
The survey will be open until March 6, 2023.