The Ottawa Catholic School Board approved a $584,777,000 balanced Operating Budget for the school year 2020-2021, representing a 4.6% increase year over year.
Salaries and benefits comprise 82% of the 2020-2021 Operating Budget expenditures. Total full-time-equivalent staffing has increased by 3.2% over the 2019-2020 budget due to enrollment growth and system needs.
Highlights of Operating Budget 2020-2021
- Enhanced eLearning opportunities;
- 20 additional Educational Assistants to support student needs;
- 8 additional Resource Teachers;
- 1 additional Secondary Guidance Counsellor;
- Graduation Coach Program Pilot for Black Students;
- 45 First Nations, Metis and Inuit Studies sections bringing the total to 80-course selections;
- Elementary school budgets will increase by $1,000 per school to promote Community Outreach and ;
- $30,000 ($2,000 per secondary school) will continue to be directed to Student Senates to address school-based priorities;
- 1.2 million for COVID 19 contingency planning
Chair of the Board Mark Mullan said, “I would like to thank our staff that prepared this budget as it addresses the challenges of COVID-19 while also offering innovative programs and support for all students. Under the governance of our Trustees, we will make revisions as needed to provide safer learning and work environments for our staff and students”.
- The Board continues to plan for the future and invested $33,735,442 in Capital Priorities. Funds were allocated to:
- $7.0 million for expenditures related to complete a planned addition at St. Joseph High School;
- $3.0 million to purchase land for schools sites;
- $0.4 million to buy school portables;
- $5.4 million of Facilities Renewal Project spending;
- $15.9 million for School Condition improvement projects and;
- $1.0 million for renewal to the Catholic Education Centre
Due to the pandemic’s unexpected impact, the Board drew down on its accumulated surplus by $4.421m. The Board continues to maintain its Unappropriated Accumulated Surplus at a level ($8.8 million or 1.5 % of the 2020-2021 Operating Budget).
Director of Education, Thomas D’Amico, said, “Preparing a budget during a pandemic is challenging due to so many outside factors influencing the decision-making process. While there continue to be many unknowns ahead of us, we do know that our staff will continue to rise to the challenges by providing the leadership and support necessary to help each of our students meet with success. Our budget provides an appropriate balance between a focus on academics and overall well-being for our staff and students”.
The OCSB budget document is developed with input from the Catholic School Parents’ Association/Parent Involvement Committee, Special Education Advisory Committee, Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, Student Senate, unions, Non-Affiliated staff, and other educator sector partners.