Public Board Approves $446-Million Budget

Logo for the Greater Essex County District School Board. (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

The 2014-2015 budget for the public school board is approved with unanimous backing from trustees.

The budget is being presented as balanced, which includes a $16-million contingency fund. There is $405-million budgeted on the operating side while $41-million is set for capital expenditures.

“We’re pleased that there was a change in the funding model for special education which is benefiting our board and we’re in the first year of a four-year phase,” says Cathy Lynd, the superintendent of business at the public board commenting on a couple of key changes affecting the budget. “There was also a change in the full-day kindergarten funding and it’s included now in the general legislative grants, and that has benefited our board as well.”

The budget will see 67 new hires overall with more elementary teachers, early chidhood educators and educational assistants being brought on. However, there will be 20 fewer secondary school teachers next year as the board deals with declining enrollment in their high school student population.