June 28, 2011                                                                                       

2011 DSBN Budget Optimizes Student Achievement

At their regular meeting on Monday, June 27, Trustees of the District School Board of Niagara approved a balanced budget of $417,341,303 for the 2011/12 school year. The average total investment in education per DSBN student for 2011/12 is projected to be $11,406, which represents an increase of 6.5% over 2010/11.  

“Trustees are pleased to have passed a balanced budget that focuses supports on increasing student achievement,” says Dalton Clark, Chair of the Finance Committee.

Student achievement enhancements include over $2 million earmarked for Educational Assistants who work within classrooms to support the needs of students. Additionally, the budget allocates over $900,000 to increase the number of elementary teachers and Literacy Coaches to further support student success in literacy.

Strengthening the breadth and depth of programming at the DSBN, the budget provides funding to expand late bus service which supports secondary students’ ability to pursue school-based extra-curricular activities. French Immersion programming will also be expanded to students beginning in Grade 5.

Noting that the DSBN currently has some of the oldest school facilities in Ontario, Board Chair Kevin Maves says the budget provides for badly needed capital improvements, which will enhance students’ education and support the local economy.  “Our capital investment of $7.5 million not only result in the construction of a new public school at the current Mathews’ site in Welland, it will also create a modern facility for community use as well,” says Maves. Funding will also be directed to create an addition to Gordon Public School in Welland.

The construction of the new Mathews Public School is the result of a recent accommodation review of schools in the east Welland area. “The continued decline of enrolment across our system has highlighted the need for the DSBN to take a long term, strategic approach to facility planning for the future,” says Maves. Enrolment is projected to drop 3.2% from 2010/11 levels. Total enrolment is estimated to fall a further 18% over the next 15 years. 

“As school board funding is based on enrolment, it is clear that the status quo is not an option. Staff have presented trustees with a three-phase plan which will help ensure that our students benefit from increased opportunities in first-rate facilities. We are proceeding with phase one of this plan in the fall, and look forward to working with our students, parents, communities and municipal partners as this process unfolds,” says Maves.

“By engaging in this long term planning exercise, I am confident that we will be able to serve the best interest of students by revitalizing our school buildings, incorporating new learning technologies, supporting our world-class staff and enhancing our innovative program offerings,” adds Maves.     

For more information about the District School Board of Niagara budget, please contact: 

Warren Hoshizaki, Director of Education, 905-641-2929 54102

For a complete copy of the budget, please call 905-641-2929 ext. 54126.