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HomeNewsSchool Board dipping into reserves to overcome $3.6 million shortfall next year

School Board dipping into reserves to overcome $3.6 million shortfall next year

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Trillium Lakelands District School Board anticipates a deficit of more than $3.6 million dollars next year and will dip into reserves to balance the books and maintain some programs.

At a board meeting on Tuesday night Superintendent of Business Services Tim Ellis shared a preliminary and general overview of the 2019-2020 budget which will be coming forward for approval in June.

“By regulation, our staff are required to present a balanced budget to the board. Staff are preparing a balanced budget for presentation in June. The approved Surplus Management Plan report directs staff to include an additional 3.6 million dollars of expenditures which will be covered by the board’s reserve fund.” Communications Manager, Catherine Shedden explained to Kawartha 411.

The Board says it is waiting for more details from the ministry prior to completing budget deliberations.

At the meeting Director of Education Larry Hope presented trustees with a revised multi-year surplus management plan.

Officials say the plan identifies initiatives that are intended to draw down the accumulated surplus while respecting the direction provided by the Ministry of Education to be in a balanced budget position over the coming years.

Use of surplus funds that exceed one per cent of the operating grants in any budget year requires ministry approval. The operating grants for TLDSB for next year will be approximately $1,945,000. The board will be seeking approval from the Minister of Education for an operating deficit of approximately $3,636,000. (Which will be taken from reserves to balance the budget)

Programs saved by the use of reserves include elementary instructional coaches, Behaviour Intervention Response Team (BIRT) educational assistants, the trustee’s Program Enhancement program, Tech Camp for students, the Edwin digital backpack program, special education support, music and arts support, and updates to software for accounting and human resources.

The budget will not come forward for review at the Regular Meeting of the Board on June 11. There will be a special Board Meeting to present a draft 2019-2020 budget.

Superintendent of Learning Bruce Barrett and Superintendent of Business Services Tim Ellis also shared plans for moving Adult and Alternative Education Centres (AAEC) sites into Gravenhurst High School, Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School (BMLSS), Huntsville High School, and Fenelon Falls Secondary School (FFSS).

“There are several physical alterations that need to be made to make each of the areas functional. Facility Services is beginning the process of issuing construction tenders so that in most cases the schools will be ready to receive AAEC students at the beginning of the school year. FFSS is the only school where there is an anticipated delay until December 2019.” said a statement from the board.

Officials say they have worked to ensure there are separate entrances, signage, and kitchen facilities for the new AAEC sites in schools.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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