Peel District School Board (PDSB) Supervisor Bruce Rodrigues has approved the budget for the 2020-2021 school year, which is still subject to the approval of the Ministry of Education.
The balanced budget of $1.96 billion for the year comes before the Province has officially announced if students will be back in classrooms come the fall.
Additionally, due to the pandemic, the budget was developed through a modified consultation process that included input from employee group leaders, school administrators, the senior leadership team, and trustees.
Further, the Board also sought input from staff, parents/guardians, School Council members, students, and community members through an online survey.
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“This budget supports the Peel District School Board’s commitment to student achievement, anti-Black, African, Caribbean racism, anti-Islamophobia, equity, anti-oppression and well-being initiatives, as identified in its strategic plan, the Plan for Student Success,” Rodrigues said in a news release.
“The board’s student-focused budget for 2020-21 demonstrates fiscal responsibility, ensuring funds directly support the work of staff to make a positive difference in the lives of Peel board students,” he continued.
The 2020-21 budget supports the following ongoing and one-time enhancements:
- Adding 125 classroom teachers
- Adding 95 educational assistants (EA) and 31 long-term occasional (LTO) educational assistants (LTO) to support students with special needs
- Employment System Review (Ministry directive)
- Human Resource centralized applicant tracking (Ministry directive)
- Special Assistant to Director of Education, Governance and Board Services (Ministry directive)
- Outreach Officer (Ministry directive)
- Feminine hygiene products for secondary schools
- Support for culturally responsive and management training for staff
With the operating budget focusing on meeting program delivery, the Peel board also approved an additional $5.48 million from reserves to support one-time business cases that primarily support students with special needs and transportation cost increases.