Education Minister Gerard Kennedy today announced that an investigator will be appointed to review the finances of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.
“Together with our partners in education, we are making progress for students – lowering class sizes, improving student achievement and making our classrooms better,” Kennedy said. “We believe all school boards can balance their budgets while providing the highest quality education to our students.”
“The McGuinty government and the Ministry of Education have been working closely with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board to balance its budget in order to provide quality services to students. Unfortunately, those efforts have not been successful to date,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy pointed out that since taking office, the McGuinty government has invested more than $2 billion in new funding for school boards. The Dufferin- Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) has received its full share, with $100 million more funding in 2005/06 compared to 2002/03. That represents a 19 per cent increase since 2002/03.
“We have made significant investments to help put more teachers in our classrooms, more textbooks in students’ desks, and more books in our school libraries,” Kennedy said. “We need to make sure those investments are reaching their target.”
Despite filing a balanced budget plan earlier this year, DPCDSB has informed the government it plans to file a revised budget with a $15 million deficit. This raises concerns about the board’s ability to provide services to its students in this and future years.
The Ministry of Education and the DPCDSB have been meeting regularly since June and formed a joint working group to address this issue. While some progress has been made, challenges remain that the working group could not resolve.
With the appointment of an independent, outside investigator, the Ministry of Education will be able to gather a clear picture of the board’s finances, its management processes and options for long-term, viable solutions. During the review, the board administration, trustees and schools will continue to operate normally.
“Students will not be affected by the investigation and will continue to receive the same services while the report is being completed,” said Kennedy.
Status to date
Through the joint working group, the Ministry of Education raised concerns about the DPCDSB’s increased spending, particularly in administration, compared to surrounding boards of similar size.
The 2005-06 revised estimates compared to the 2002/03 actuals are:
Revenue: up 19%
Enrolment: up 3%
Inflation: up 7%
Spending: up 27%
spiderwick chronicles the divx movie online In the current school year, DPCDSB saw an enrolment increase of 1.9%, a salary cost increase of approximately 2%, but a spending increase of almost 7%. If a more carefully planned level of spending had been followed, the deficit could have been much lower or potentially eliminated.
jack and jill vs the world dvdrip In addition, the ministry’s examination of three areas of funding where the board has raised concerns – teacher salaries, transportation and special education – has determined that DPCDSB’s situation has actually improved significantly, rather than worsened, in the past two years.
“I am keeping an open mind and am optimistic that an investigator will assist the board and the ministry to resolve this issue in a timely manner,” said Kennedy. “We all share the same goal: ensuring quality education for all students.”
Kennedy said he will provide updates throughout the process.