TCDSB passes 'sustainable' budget

  • June 30, 2010
TCDSB LogoTORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board unveiled its new plan to get the board’s books in the black for the next three years, and for trustees to regain control of the board from the province.

Provincially appointed board supervisor Richard Alway told The Catholic Register that the budget is financially and educationally “sustainable.”

The budget was passed on June 16 and will see the board end the 2009-2010 year with a balanced budget, with $951 million in expenses offset by revenues of $959 million (that surplus will cover past deficits).

A balanced budget is one of the preconditions for the board to regain its local control. It has been under supervision for more than two years after it failed to balance its budget amid a trustee spending controversy.

An accumulated surplus is being projected over the next few years, with a small surplus projected by the end of 2010-2011. For 2011-2012, a $1.9-million surplus is expected, with a surplus of $10.2 million projected the following year.

Not all is well with Catholic education partners, however. The elementary teachers union voiced some concerns. Anthony Bellissimo, president of the Toronto Elementary Catholic Teachers, is “disappointed” that cost-cutting has led to the reassignment of 15 special education teachers. That’s on top of the 67 special ed teachers who were reassigned last year.

“The needs of our system require more special education teachers, not less,” he said. “I believe the needs of our most vulnerable students are not being met.”

Bellissimo said he urges the board to consider using its learning opportunity grants for elementary teacher staffing.

But according to Alway, the reassignment shouldn’t affect students. He said the board is spending $3 million more than last year on special education despite having less money from the province for special ed.

The reassignment is due to declines in student enrolment, he added. Instead of laying off staff, teachers are being reassigned to ensure smaller class sizes and a “high level of staffing,” he added

A copy of the budget can be viewed online:

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