Ottawa Catholic School Board Approves 2021-2022 Budget

The Ottawa Catholic School Board approved a $605,509,000 balanced Operating Budget for 2021-2022, representing a 3.5% increase year over year.  Salaries and benefits comprise 82% of the 2021-2022 Operating Budget expenditures.


Total full-time-equivalent (FTE) staffing has increased by 3.6% over the 2020-2021 budget due to enrollment growth and system needs. Enrollment projections call for modest increases in both the elementary and secondary panels. The overall projected growth is 2% over the current year representing 677 new elementary students and 251 secondary students. Total FTE staffing has remained relatively stable compared to the 2020-2021 budget.

New School-based Assignments for September 2021

The 2021-2022 budget reflects positive changes in support to students, focusing on overall well-being and mental health.

  • 6 Mental Health workers hired for temporary COVID-19 supports will become permanent staff
  • 16 additional staff to support two the two new Virtual Schools;
  • A new Intermediate French Immersion teacher for St. Michael Fitzroy;
  • An Equity Consultant to support schools with the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Framework and;
  • An Indigenous Consultant to support the Board Action Plan (BAP) for Indigenous learning in K-12.

Chair of the Board Quote

Trustee Mark Mullan, Chair of the Board, said, “Our Board continues to practice fiscal responsibility in these uncertain times while maintaining established funding for students programs and services. This budget provides for a high-quality Catholic education for our students that focuses on our strategic commitments and our support of the Gospel values of faith, love, reconciliation and community.”

Planned Capital Expenditures

The Board continues to plan for the future. This year’s budget will see an increase of $15.5 million in capital expenditures,

Funds were allocated to:

  • $2 million for expenses related to the addition to St. James Elementary School 
  • $8 million to fund the construction of two new Elementary Schools located at Fernbank and Barrhaven South
  • $1.3 million budget to purchase new portables; and 
  • $2.0 million computer technology, furniture and equipment needs
  • $5.4 million to improve ventilation in schools of a two-year COVID-19 Resiliency Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS) federal funding investment

Additional Key Investments in Supporting Student Learning

The Board continues to support student learning and staff development through resource acquisition, including:

  • Supports to implement a 2021 investment of  $500,000 for new Religious Education resources for grades 1,3, and 8.
  • $537,000 in upgrades and additional licenses to support virtual programming
  • $2 million in additional student and staff devices to increase access to technology
  • Supports to implement a 2021 investment of $250,000 in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion  (EDI) Resources  for September 2021 to support the EDI Framework
  • $45,000 for additional resources to support equity in Children Support Schools
  • $34,000 for Student Senate initiatives to support inclusive practices in all high schools

Director of Education Quote

Director of Education, Thomas D’Amico, said, “Preparing a budget during an ongoing pandemic is challenging due to the level of uncertainty. However, this budget provides stable funding for student programming and well-being. It also contains 4.9 million in one-time Ministry funding for costs associated with delivering services during a pandemic. While there are still many unknowns ahead of us, our students, their families, and our staff continue to model resilience, innovation and faith. This budget provides the foundation for their good work to continue.  I would like to thank our senior team and their dedicated department staff, trustees, and our staff in finance for their focus on a balanced budget as we move from pandemic recovery to growth.”

Budget Process

The OCSB budget document consists of five phases – planning, projection, review, recommendation and adoption. Staff seek stakeholder input in developing the budget. Board Administration makes presentations to gather feedback from the Catholic School Parents’ Association/Parent Involvement Committee, Special Education Advisory Committee, Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Student Senate, unions, Non-Affiliated staff, and other educator sector partners.

Budget Background

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