UGDSB requires over $4 million to balance budget

GUELPH – The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) will require over $4 million from its accumulated surplus to balance its budget for the 2021-22 school year.

The board’s Draft Budget Report shows the 2021-22 operating expenditures budget estimated at $426,387,256, up from $416,337,588 in the 2020-21 budget.

The school board will require $4,094,821 from accumulated surplus to balance the budget, equal to one per cent of operating allocations, according to the report presented in a board meeting June 7.

The board is required by the Ministry of Education to develop budgets in advance of the fiscal year as part of the Education Quality Improvement Act.

The submitted budget must be balanced or have a deficit that does not exceed either the lesser of accumulated surplus or one per cent of operating allocations.

Pandemic funds

The ministry is continuing COVID-19 related funding supports for the 2021-22 year through its Priorities and Partnerships Funding.

The board allocations for the fund reflect an increase of $1.4 million, which the report noted is primarily driven by additional COVID-19 supports, partially offset by the transfer of amounts into the Grants for Student Needs (GSN).

This includes funding for additional staffing in schools, transportation supports, special education and mental health supports and school operation supports related to ventilation systems.

This also includes funds for re-engaging students and reading assessment supports.

In addition, the ministry has added technology and mental health funding, originally introduced in 2020-21 to the GSN.

The 2021-22 operating revenue amount includes $409,539,444 in GSN revenue and $12,752,992 in other revenue sources.

The report noted the 2021-22 GSN is $6.6 million higher than the 2020-21 budget.

The balance of the COVID-19 supports represent the first half of the funding allocated to the board.

Ministry guidelines direct school boards to budget using the first half of the funding. The ministry will confirm the use of the remaining resources in the fall, pending vaccine distribution and public health advice.