School classroom cuts predicted as $20 million shortfall hits Burlington, Oakville and Milton


Published June 15, 2023 at 4:17 pm

A shortfall in funding of more than $20 million will impact classrooms and jobs, predict trustees on the Halton District School Board (HDSB).

The forecast was made in a missive presented to the board by two of its trustees.

In their statement, trustees Kelly Amos (Oakville Wards 5 and 7) and Jeanne Gray (Halton Hills) point out the impact of funding shortfalls by way of Ontario’s Ministry of Education.

“Simply put, the funding provided will result in a decrease in (student) funding and staffing levels across the HDSB,” reads the opening line of the statement.

Based on the urging of the two trustees, the board will appeal to Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce stating that money directed by Queen’s Park to the school system for 2023-2024 is not enough to support important classroom programs and will lead to the loss of staff positions.

The two trustees say Provincial grants fall short of what is needed in a growing educational system and do not address inflation, remote learning for students, supports for special education, rising wages for supply teachers, increased transportation costs and money needed to meet increased employee benefits.

“The Ministry has publicly stated their focus to support student learning and improve graduation rates,” the statement continues. “However, a funding shortfall will result in fewer supports to students, impacting the ability to continue the successful track record of the HDSB.”

Specifically, the HDSB says funding falls short in these areas:

  • special education and mental health ($17.5 million)
  • student transportation ($2.8 million)
  • unfunded statutory benefits (CPP enhancement) ($1.4 million increase year over year and $7 million total cost impact)
  • temporary student accommodations ($1.2 million)

“As a result of these and many more funding pressures, School Operations (Facilities), Library and Guidance, and allocation for Early Childhood Educators are but a few of the areas in the Board that will be impacted in very serious and negative ways as these areas support the shortfalls realized in other areas in the budget,” the statement continued

In their letter to the Lecce, the board will ask the Ministry of Education to reconsider and add the additional funding to maintain current supports and programs as well as address the other needs.

The board also intends to create a public awareness campaign called “Fix the Finances” to let ratepayers know about the repercussions of reduced Provincial government funding.



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