At this evening’s Board meeting, Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustees approved the 2022-23 operating budget. The $3.4 billion budget includes investments in a number of key areas, including mental health supports, early reading coaches, additional ESL teachers, student safety, resources to combat hate and racism, and technology for students.
The 2022-23 operating budget includes a projected deficit of $40.4 million which is primarily due to unfunded pandemic costs, ongoing Ministry funding shortfalls in a number of areas, and declining enrolment. The TDSB will be using its reserves to balance the operating budget for the 2022-23 school year. The budget approved this evening also includes a draft plan to balance the budget over the next three years.
TDSB Trustees and staff continue to advocate for additional and more stable funding from the province, including the reimbursement of pandemic related expenses and other revenue losses incurred, a commitment to fund the TDSB’s pandemic recovery plan, and additional funding to cover inflationary cost increases that are not currently funded by the Ministry. Should these costs be reimbursed to school boards, these supports would be sufficient to address the TDSB’s projected deficit.
- Since March 2020, the TDSB has incurred over $69 million in board-funded pandemic costs that have not been reimbursed by the Ministry. In addition, there were also $64 million in other revenue reductions due to the pandemic in areas such as international student revenues, permits, leases, Continuing Education and cafeteria sales.
- The investments made as part of the 2022-23 budget align directly with the budget drivers approved by Trustees in February 2022.
- As a result of declining enrolment and the elimination of one-time Ministry funding, there is a small number of staff reductions outlined in the approved budget to better align staffing with the number of students.
- Section 231 of the Education Act requires school boards to pass balanced operating budgets each year. Budgets are intended to align both human and financial resources to system priorities.
“Despite a challenging budget year, we are making strategic investments to continue to support our students in specific areas such as mental health/well-being, early literacy, English as a Second Language, student safety, resources to combat hate and racism, and technology. These supports will be important to meet the needs of our students arising from the pandemic and as they enter the new school year.”
- Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Director of Education, TDSB
“While every effort has been made to ensure that the deficit reduction measures have a limited impact on programs and services for students, it is clear that the TDSB would be in a much more stable financial position if we had adequate Ministry funding and if we were not facing funding shortfalls in a number of areas. Despite these significant challenges, we are committed to allocating resources to meet the needs of our students and the TDSB community.”
- Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB