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Catholic Board approves balanced budget at June 27, 2017 meeting

June 28, 2017 (Brantford) - Through targeted, measured and fiscally responsible decisions, the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board has, once again, approved a balanced budget. The 2017-18 budget totals approximately $132 million.

“The Board has achieved the balanced budget without cutting vital programs and services, but rather increasing programs and investments in staff and capital infrastructure,” said Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella.

“We are very pleased at the work of everyone involved in achieving the 2017-18 balanced budget and look forward to witnessing the continuation of fiscal compliance and responsible spending and the new initiatives that will be implemented across our school district,” continued Petrella.

Beginning in the winter of 2015, the Board embarked on a process to create its roadmap for district improvement through strategic planning. In November 2015, the Board approved its Strategic Plan 2015-18. The multi-year plan was the result of considerable community engagement, an in-depth environmental scan, a review of the goals of the Ministry of Education and the progress made on our previous strategic plan.

The following goals established for the 2015-18 Strategic Plan and supported by the budget are as follows:

  • Improving Student Achievement
  • Catholic Faith Formation
  • Developing Safe and Inclusive Schools
  • Communicating Effectively

The Board’s plan also underscores its commitment to:

  • Leadership that is informed by our Catholic faith throughout the organization.
  • Our role in supporting families and parishes with respect to Catholic faith formation of young people.
  • The importance of effective communication to our internal audience as well as our Catholic school stakeholders.

The goals of the Strategic Plan and additional commitments provided guidance for development of the budget and served as the basis for expenditure decisions. 

Central terms for the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation - Education Workers (OSSTF) were scheduled to expire on August 31, 2017; however, these agreements were successfully re-negotiated during the winter / spring of 2016-17.

These Extension Agreements will provide two additional years of labour stability. As the terms of the central agreement form the basis of monetary entitlements for staff of the board, all entitlements have been considered and included in the 2017-18 Budget. 

The Extension Agreements have also included the provision for system investments in 2017-18 that will continue in the 2018-19 school year. For OECTA this includes the hiring of approximately 5.5 teachers to support student needs. For OSSTF this includes the hiring of 2.0 Child and Youth Workers, 3.5 Education Assistants, 0.5 Library Technician, 2.0 Custodians, and additional secretarial hours distributed across various schools.

Enrolment for 2017-18 is estimated at 9,788 students. This total includes a projected increase of 44 students at the elementary level and 44 secondary students. The net result of the student enrolment increase as well as the need to meet regulation compliance for Full Day Kindergarten and Junior / Intermediate classes; combined with staffing requirements at small schools and the system investment associated with the Extension Agreements, has resulted in the increase of approximately 12 FTE teachers to the Board’s compliment.

Photo cutline: Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella

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For more information about the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board:
Tracey Austin, Manager of Communication and Community Relations  |  519-756-6505 Ext. 234  |  519-732-5282  |  taustin@bhncdsb.ca