The Halton District School Board (HDSB) has been in the news quite a lot lately, ever since the Ministry of Education released a report outlining the provincial government’s plan to change Ontario’s public education system back in March of this year. A few things included in this report was the Ford government’s plans to change the sexual education curriculum, and a cellphone ban.
These consultations wrapped up on May 31, 2019.
Now, according to a Halton District School public session agenda, it has been revealed that enrolment within the HDSB is expected to increase.
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The meeting pertaining to this agenda was held on June 5, 2019.
According to the agenda, the school board is expecting to welcome around 65,454 students in 87 elementary and 17 secondary schools during the 2019-20 school year.
“This enrolment projection results in an overall increase of 1.3 [per cent] as compared to the 2018/2019 school year,” notes the agenda.
More specifically, Milton is expected to welcome 759 students, and Oakville is expected to welcome 379, as a result of new residential development and a younger demographic within the two towns.
Although, Burlington and Halton Hills are both expected to experience a decline in growth (by around 326).
But, for the most part, enrolment within the HDSB is expected to increase marginally into 2028.
However, according to Sean O’Meara, Oakville Ward 1 Regional and Town Councillor, despite the school board’s expected enrolment growth, the HDSB’s budget is expected to be reduced.
Absolutely shocked to hear that next year's @HaltonDSB budget will see a net reduction of $25 million including 189 teaching positions (outside of attrition) and we are facing a 1.3% enrollment growth.
— Sean O'Meara (@sean_omeara) June 6, 2019
And, as noted in the agenda, the main funding reductions for the 2019-20 year are a result of the following.
- Increase in Junior/Intermediate class size from 23.84:1 to 24.5:1
- Decrease in funding for registered Early Childhood Educators
- Increase in Secondary class size from 22:1 to 28:1
- Elimination of Secondary Programming Amount
- Elimination of Cost Adjustment Allocation for non-teaching staff
- Elimination of Human Resource Transition Supplement
- Reduction in School Operations Allocation due to changes in classroom loading factors
- Elimination of Local Priorities Funding, set to expire August 31, 2019.
During the upcoming school year, HDSB is expecting to receive 90.6 per cent (around $696 million) of its total operating budget from the Ministry of Education.
The 2019-2020 operating budget is $754,956,645, however the operating budget for the 2018-2019 school year was $763,306,167.
For more information about the 2019-2020 operating and capital budgets, click here.
What do you think of the predicted enrolment growth and budget reduction?