Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have approved a budget plan for the 2018-19 school year that required no reduction in staff to balance the budget. The operating budget of about $3.3 billion will continue to support the TDSB’s commitment to equity, and the achievement and well-being of all students.
The balanced budget reflects the school-based staffing decisions for 2018-19 that were approved by the Board in March.
The Ministry of Education recently announced new investments in education for the 2018-19 school year, including special education, guidance supports in elementary, English as a Second Language and mental health workers. The Ministry also announced capital investments in School Condition Improvements and Greenhouse Gas Reduction as part of the funding release for 2018-19. The exact amounts are not known at this time. The Board will approve its capital budget later this spring.
The TDSB is committed to aligning resources with strategic priorities like equity, inclusion and student well-being. The soon to be finalized, Multi-year Strategic Plan, will provide further direction to support these priorities and more for the next three to five school years.
During this week’s regular meeting, Trustees also passed a motion to call on the City of Toronto to establish a School Zone Traffic Safety Steering Committee with all four Toronto school boards, the City and Toronto Police in response to an increase in school zone pedestrian injuries and fatalities. They also voted to adopt (Item 5) a public health approach to addressing the impact of exposure to community violence and asked that the Director enter into discussions with Toronto Public Health in an attempt to undertake research on the extent of exposure to community violence among students. In a related motion (Item 6), the Board will look into formalizing a Crisis Response Protocol between the Board and the City of Toronto Crisis Response Program regarding violence among students.
Finally, Trustees also approved a motion to celebrate Hindu Heritage Month across the Board every November, starting this year.
- The TDSB’s operating budget is approximately $3.3 billion and is divided into the following categories: instruction (78%), school operations (15.5%), administration (2.5%), transportation (1.9%) and other operating costs (1.9%).
- School-based staffing levels, approved by the Board in March account for approximately 65% of the Board’s operating budget.
— Ryan Bird