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‘Tightly staffed’ school board approves 2019-2020 budget

Algoma District School Board still awaiting next year’s enrolment numbers by end of June before making next move
20190611-ADSB Joe Santa Maria-DT-01
Joe Santa Maria, Algoma District School Board (ADSB) superintendent of business, June 11, 2019. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Algoma District School Board (ADSB) trustees approved a budget of $154.7 million for 2019-2020 at their final regular monthly board meeting of the 2018-2019 school year Tuesday evening.

Joe Santa Maria, ADSB superintendent of business, speaking to SooToday after Tuesday’s meeting, said the number of teachers facing layoffs in the face of the Ford government’s changes to class sizes, especially at the secondary level, could not be provided until the board receives more information regarding 2019-2020 student enrolment numbers at the end of June.

Speaking of ‘positive’ preliminary student enrolment numbers for the ADSB for the next school year, Santa Maria said course availability for students and special education needs are still in place even though a report to the board stated there is a $1.3 million shortfall in special education funding.

“Special education funding is now determined on a ‘per student basis’ normally resulting in a decline to our Board’s special education grant. Special education funding is a concern to the Board as enrolment declines and funding is determined based on this enrolment rather than being determined by needs of the system,” a written report to the board stated.

Trustees approved withdrawing over $1.2 million from an accumulated surplus, as well as reallocation of funding from other areas, to balance the 2019-2020 budget.

Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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