May 21st, 2019
In order to communicate our current budget outlook for 2019-2020, we are providing the following Frequently Asked Questions to create an understanding of current timelines, resources, and priorities. As we move forward, we will continue to focus on student and staff well-being, work to minimize the impact of budget shortfalls in the classroom, and will be sure to keep you updated as further information becomes available.
We are committed to communicating openly with our community and supporting the success of our students – each and every one. As the Waterloo Region District School Board works with the Ministry of Education and navigates the budget and planning process for the 2019-2020 school year, we feel it’s important to provide our students, staff, families, and community members with clear information relating to current budget challenges and potential staffing shortfalls.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the anticipated budget shortfall for the WRDSB?
Changes to the Grants for Student Needs are expected to create an estimated $12 million shortfall in the WRDSB’s budget.
What is the impact on per-pupil funding?
Overall, the WRDSB’s per-pupil funding from the Ministry of Education has been reduced by approximately $2 million. This represents a funding reduction of approximately $110.44 per pupil.
How is the WRDSB planning for larger class sizes?
The WRDSB continues to honour the terms of the current Collective Agreements which include a class size ratio of 22:1 at the secondary level.
Will the WRDSB be issuing layoff notices?
At this point, we do not anticipate having to lay off staff and are confident we can address current staffing challenges through natural attrition, regular staff leaves, and as an outcome of experiencing growth in our enrolment.
How will the WRDSB make up budget and staffing shortfalls?
To address the shortfall, we have taken the first step of redeploying 40+ central staff back in to schools. This will help to minimize impacts on the classroom. We will continue to explore responsible ways to address the remaining shortfall.
Will there be a reduction in service to schools?
Yes. Due to the elimination of the central positions, there will be an impact to learning service supports available to schools and we will continue to explore how to best address these changes and examine alternative service delivery models.
What is the staffing process and how has it been impacted by budget shortfalls?
The WRDSB is analyzing vacancies, retirements, and enrolment growth in order to reduce, or eliminate, the likelihood of layoffs. We expect that all current full-time staff will be reabsorbed into these vacancies.
When will the staffing process be complete?
The staffing process is expected to be complete by the end of May 2019.
What are the plans moving forward?
As we address the budget shortfall, our priority is to minimize the impact on students. We remain committed to making decisions that are in the best interests of each and every student.
What is next for the budget process?
Staff is planning to present a balanced budget to the Board of Trustees in June 2019. The WRDSB expects to receive final budget details (Grants for Student Needs Technical Paper) from the Ministry of Education by the end of May 2019.