WHITBY: Durham school board approves $1 billion 2022-23 budget


Published June 22, 2022 at 1:34 pm

The Durham District School Board approved its 2022-23 budget this week, a $1 billion document focused on pandemic and academic recovery.

Norah Marsh, the board’s Director of Education, said the new budget was an opportunity to “shift away from the uncertainties of the pandemic response” to the recoveries ahead.

This year’s budget focuses on:

  • Pandemic recovery;
  • Academic recovery, mental health supports, and missed milestones;
  • Ensuring transportation needs are met;
  • Continued operation of DDSB@Home for another year to ensure equitable access for students;
  • A continued commitment to Indigenous rights, equity and human rights;
  • Special focus on Special Education as the funding is not increasing at the same rate as the demand for services, with a $6.6 million shortfall expected

This year’s budget, approved Monday by the Board of Trustees, includes $880,291,132 in operating funds and $132,932,109 in capital funds, for a total budget of $1,013,223,241.

Salaries and benefits eat up a large portion of the budget, as does the “significant” maintenance of 140 facilities in the Durham District School board.

Capital projects in the budget include retrofit jobs to be tendered at Scott Central PS and Vaughan Willard PS and projects awaiting ministry approval at Rosebank PS, Seneca Trail PS and Sunderland Public School.

New school construction or major addition projects on the books include Beaverton PS/Thorah Central PS re-build; an unnamed north Oshawa PS, an unnamed Pickering Creekwood PS and the Mary Street Community School addition.

Recently announced projects are the unnamed north Oshawa High School and an elementary school in Pickering’s Seaton neighbourhood.

The 2022-23 budget package was a collaborative process between the Board of Trustees, stakeholders, and staff to ensure development of a budget document that is detailed, accountable, and transparent, according to board Chair Carolyn Morton.

“After adapting to changing learning modes since spring 2020, there is much optimism that 2022-23 will bring a return to a more stable school year. Significant focus will be placed on supporting students’ mental health and academic recovery over the summer and into the 2022-23 school year, allowing students to recover learning and focus on well-being.”

Morton added that many students are not ready to return to in-person learning so schools will continue to offer the virtual learning portal as an option for the coming school year.

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