Peel board approves balanced budget, despite $124 million funding gap
TORONTO, June 12 /CNW/ - Trustees of the Peel District School Board
approved a budget of $1.2 billion for the 2007-08 school year. This balanced
budget is a $73 million increase in Ministry of Education funding from last
year. However, the funding gap between grants and actual costs in areas such
as transportation and staff costs is $45 million.
"Obviously, there is some good news. Our funding is up about seven per
cent. There are positive provincial initiatives," said Janet McDougald, chair
of the board. "But - and it is a big one - the fact remains that the Peel
District School Board, the children of Peel, receive a grant that is the third
lowest in the province. This funding level translates into a funding gap of
$883 less for each and every Peel student. It totals over $120 million."
The increase in the board's budget is due to several factors.
- Enrolment growth of 1.8 per cent accounts for about $20 million.
- The board has built five new elementary schools and one new secondary
school, along with 27 major additions - 14 of which are for primary
class size reduction.
- The funding of $9 million for primary class size will allow the board
to hire 112 new teachers in 2007-08. This funding will allow the Peel
board to meet the ministry expectation of 90 per cent of primary
classrooms having no more than 20 students.
- The funding will provide a three per cent salary benchmark increase,
cover the full cost of teacher preparation time, and provide
additional elementary and secondary specialist teachers.
The ministry funding for 2007-08 raises the following concerns for the
- The gap between ministry grants and actual salary and benefit costs
remains at $20 million.
- Actual transportation costs still exceed grants by $6.5 million.
Transportation in the Peel board has been under-funded for the past
- There is no grant to cover the relocation of portables, which is
expected to cost the board $5.5 million in 2007-08.
- The cost of special education programs is $5 million more than the
- Changes to the funding formula designed to support smaller schools
have had the unintended impact of reducing the grant for principals
and vice-principals in Peel by $4.6 million.
- The Peel board has a funding shortfall of $4 million for supply
teachers, despite spending less than the provincial average in this
Note to media: For the text of Janet McDougald's budget remarks,
go to www.peelschools.org or call 905-890-1010
(or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2809.
For further information:
For further information: about the Peel board budget, go to
www.peelschools.org; For a complete copy of the budget, call (905) 890-1010
(or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2012; Media contact: Janet McDougald, Chair, Peel
District School Board, (905) 278-1402; Reference: Sylvia Link, Manager of
Communications, (905) 890-1010, 1-800-668-1146, x2814, firstname.lastname@example.org