Budget Consultation Meeting
May 3, 2011
A Budget Consultation Meeting was held in the Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220~Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.
L. French, Chair
S. Hedderson, Principal, École Lundy’s Lane School, and Association ofx
Elementary School Administrators
T. Holden, Principal, Napanee District SS, and Secondary School Principals
and Secondary Administrators' Association Organization
K. Burra, Assistant to the Director, Safe Schools
J. Douglas, Communications Officer
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
R. Holmes, Supervising Principal
B. Hunter, Director of Education
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Education
P. Lynch, Manager of Financial
A. McDonnell, Supervising Principal
R. Richard, Superintendent of Business Services
W. Toms, Manager of ITS and Planning Officer
Chair French welcomed those present to the meeting, thanking them for coming to present their budget requests. She indicated that the information presented this evening will be received and Trustees will take the comments from this evening’s meeting into consideration as they move forward through the budget process.
Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Trustee Goodfellow declared a conflict of interest as her son is an employee of the Limestone District School Board, and she withdrew from the meeting.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee Chadwick, seconded by Trustee Brown, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Association of Elementary School Administrators
Steve Hedderson, Association of Elementary School Administrators (AESA), was present. He stated that the Association of Elementary School Administrators (AESA) would like to thank the Board for allowing them the opportunity to share their perspective on budget priorities to consider as part of 2011-2012 budget deliberations.
Mr. Hedderson commented that AESA’s budget priorities continue to reflect the value elementary administrators place on ongoing professional learning for all staff, including ourselves. We believe that a strong commitment to ongoing learning for staff is the best way to continue to improve learning and achievement for all Limestone students and is an essential component in helping to meet the objectives outlined in the Board’s Strategic Plan, Success for All.
Mr. Hedderson remarked that for the second straight year, AESA’s budget priorities acknowledge the potential power of technology in our schools to help support student engagement and learning.
Mr. Hedderson said that AESA’s budget priorities continue to reflect elementary school administrators’ desire for some local autonomy in terms of school budgets. He stated that looking to the future, elementary administrators have indicated that some funds be considered for expanded program opportunities for elementary students.
Mr. Hedderson reviewed the following budget priorities:
Budget Priority #1 – Professional Learning
Elementary administrators remain committed to the ongoing learning of all staff, believing it is through the continual growth of administrators, teachers, and support staff that we will continue to improve student learning and achievement. We would ask the Board to consider funding flexible release time to support the differentiated professional learning for all staff that aligns
with Strategic Plan Key Objective 4.1, in addition to any Ministry funding which may be forthcoming.
Budget Priority #2 – Technology (Infrastructure and Program Support)
We recognize the value that technology brings to the school experience, and the possibilities it provides for with respect to student engagement. We feel that it is important to continue to engage in the ongoing discussion put forward by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association’s paper, What if? Technology in the 21st Century Classroom. The authors of this paper openly stated that “those who are concerned with education in the 21st century, and who are interested in how schools engage with students to prepare them for success in a highly connected world, will actively use technology toward building in students, a more sophisticated set of transferrable skills such as problem-solving, communication, decision-making, teamwork, leadership, entrepreneurship and adaptability.” With this in mind, we would like to see a continued commitment to a long-term investment in a strategic technology plan to enhance the teaching-learning process. This investment could include
infrastructure for pervasive wireless internet and secure “plug-and-play” network access for staff to assist in their work. Funding could also be directed toward more LCD projectors, more interactive white boards (SmartBoards) and more portable netbook carts. We are also interested in wider implementation of assistive technology to support a diverse range of learners. And, we are hopeful that a long-term technology investment would consider dedicated funding toward the ongoing exploration of new technologies, consistent with what students are using and that align with and support the goals of Elementary Program and Strategic Plan Key Objectives 1.3., 3.2, 4.1 and 5.6.
Budget Priority #3 – Site-Based Financial Model
Elementary administrators are hopeful that the Board will continue to allocate school budgets on a per-pupil amount, supplemented by an additional amount based on compensatory needs of the site. Continuing with this budget model allows for some level of autonomy for Principals and Vice-Principals to address local needs as we continue to support staff and student learning through our own school improvement efforts aligned with the Board’s Strategic Plan.
Looking Toward the Future…Expanded Opportunities
Beyond our top three budget priorities for 2011-2012, we would like to see some funds dedicated to expanded program opportunities for elementary students. Along the lines of the current technology programs at First Avenue Public School and Amherstview Public School, we would like to see the Board consider additional program opportunities that are open to a wider range of elementary students. Such programs could include: communication technologies (web design, video production, animation, and photography), instrumental music or other opportunities in the Arts. AESA remains open to discussion around possibilities for enhanced programming for elementary students in consultation with Elementary Program and other partners.
In response to comments by Trustee Jackson, Mr. Hedderson stated that AESA is fully supportive of the Board’s Strategic Plan, and hopefully their budget priorities align with the current course we are on.
Chair French thanked Mr. Hedderson for providing the above-noted information.
Secondary School Principals
Ted Holden representing the Secondary School Principals and the Secondary Administrators’ Association Organization, was present. He thanked Trustees for their support, noting that his presentation will relate to the Central Program Budget allocation.
Principal Holden reported that secondary schools are directly allocated funds based on a per-pupil basis, as determined by the Board. Trustees also allocate funds to support Board-wide initiatives and programs through the Secondary School Central Program Budget. He said that in the 2010-2011 school year, the allocation for this budget was $354,168.00 based on $47 per student under 21 years of age. The allocation for adults (21 and over) was $9,900 based on $15 per pupil.
Principal Holden reviewed the expenditures in the 2010-2011 school year, as follows:
Secondary School Central Programs Budget
The Secondary School Central Programs Budget allows for cost effective use of limited financial resources among schools. It supports a number of initiatives and resources utilized Board-wide. It enables Principals to respond to new opportunities, provide pathways for all students, and provides direct support in support of teaching and learning in our classrooms.
In 2010-11, the Central Programs Budget provided funds for the following areas:
- Co-operative Education
- Late Busing
- Teacher Resource Centre
- Secondary Curriculum
- Secondary Athletic Costs; OFSSA, line painting, SLHS trips, etc.
- Cancopy, Video, SoCan and other Technical Licences
- Outdoor Education
- Secondary school enrichment programs
- Graduation awards and bursaries
- The University and College Information Program
Mr. Holden said that a majority of the Adults Central programs Budget was allocated to the Teacher Resource Centre.
Principal Holden stated that there are three broad areas in which Principals agree there continues to be pressure and we are unable to provide enough financial support without the central budget. These areas include: purchase of learning resources, information technology allocations, and gymnasium inspections and repairs.
Mr. Holden reviewed the following information:
Textbooks have in past been a significant portion of the learning resources required. There is an increasing need to purchase e-books and other electronic resources to support all students, but in particular, to support students using assistive technologies.
Information Technology Allocations
Secondary Principals are extremely appreciative of the computer allocation support. Funds provided this year have been very helpful to meet demands on funding for technology and to close any gaps from years where this allocation was not available. Continuation of this funding at the current level is invaluable to school planning for maintenance and renewal of our computer hardware, software and licensing requirements to meet student programming needs. In particular this funding allows schools to improve student access to assistive technology.
Gymnasium Inspections and Repairs
All secondary schools have been inspected annually by a third party. While these inspections may be done in-house in the 2011-2012 school year, repairs will continue to be needed. Schools are experiencing greatly increased costs in this area as a function of the greatly increased community usage of Board facilities. More broadly speaking, all schools are finding furniture and equipment repair and renewal to continue to be a serious problem. The majority of furniture and equipment in local secondary schools were purchased in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mr. Holden stated that secondary Principals wish to acknowledge and thank Trustees for their continued support and hard work, particularly during the difficult budget process.
Trustee Jackson questioned if the community use of gymnasiums is something we should be cross-subsidizing with our neighbouring municipalities.
Chair French thanked Principal Holden for providing the above-noted information.
Chair French advised that only one written submission was received, which was from Ken Campbell. It states, as follows:
“The LDSB must consider the state of the provincial budget when setting its own.
Ontario has an additional $16.7 billion deficit added this year with the total provincial debt at almost a quarter of a trillion dollars! The interest charges which the province must pay annually on this debt are ten billion dollars.
The LDSB must ensure that its priorities are school based, not administrative.
Expanding the LDSB Education Centre would be folly. The number of board office based educators must be reduced with greater emphasis placed on the role of the principal and vice-principal.
At the Invista Centre meeting, all trustees seeking election as well as all the challengers stated that Special Education should receive more funding. All the trustees agreed but expected the province to provide more dollars! This may not happen. Trustees must direct their administrators to find grater efficiencies throughout the system.
Informed public school supporters are aware of the number of educators whose salaries are between $100,000 and $200,000 annually. It is critical that trustees share the public’s concern that our tax dollars benefit directly the student.”
Next Meeting Date
A Committee of the Whole Board (Budget) Meeting to review expenditures is scheduled for Monday, May 30, 2011, at 6:00 p.m., at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, in the Board Room.
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at ~7:15~p.m.–Carried