DAN CEARNS, The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) Superintendent of Business Services, Tim Ellis, gave trustees an update on the 2023 and 2024 budget process, at a meeting on Tuesday, May 23rd.
He started off by explaining the budget is still in the drafting phase.
“We are still refining it. We are still taking some input in from folks,” Superintendent Ellis said. But, he noted, the budget is “essentially 95 percent done” and stated this budget totals $245 million.
While noting the board has seen an increase in transportation funding, Superintendent Ellis cautioned trustees, there is more to this line item.
“Our transportation grant is up about $1 million; however, included in that is the driver retention program. So; the ministry, for a number of years, has run a driver retention program. However, we were never the administrators of that program.” Additionally, he stated, the retention program funds had been rolled into the transportation grant this year. He then explained, talks with transportation operators are ongoing, regarding how they’d like compensation for their work.
Another pressure on the budget is inflation, with the board already seeing a substantial inflation rate “on the commodities that we buy,” he continued.
While pointing out the budget currently shows the board in a “slight, slight surplus position at the moment,” Superintendent Ellis said, not all calculations have been finalized. He expects to see a balanced budget when it comes back to trustees in June.
During his remarks, Superintendent Ellis praised the process, which sees all Superintendents involved in the creation of the budget.
“I think it’s important, trustees understand, when it’s done, it’s not done by a business guy; it’s done by the people [who] actually know what’s going on. The boots on the ground [people], the people [who] are in schools on a regular basis.”