Bigger grants help Hamilton public school board balance budget

News May 07, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

More provincial cash and one last cut have helped the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board find the final $800,000 of $5 million needed to balance its proposed budget for the coming year.

Treasurer Stacey Zucker said most of the outstanding money came from more precise Ministry of Education calculations that resulted in an overall grant increase of $500,000.

While the board is getting $250,000 less than anticipated to maintain and run schools, it gained in two areas, the biggest being an extra $575,000 to deal with declining enrolment, she told members of the finance and facilities committee.

“The ministry has told us that they did change the formula for how they do declining enrolment,” Zucker said. “They recognize that you can’t make changes overnight.”

The remaining $300,000 will come from phasing out of many childcare subsidies, projected to bring in $100,000 in rental fees next year, and a freeze on the information technology department’s budget.

Zucker said the department had requested a $500,000 increase and the freeze will help offset an additional $300,000 increase to the transportation budget, already set to rise by $700,000.

About two-thirds of the extra money will go to a contractual rate increase, with the rest covering changes from school closures and the cost of busing Ancaster students to Chedoke Elementary School until a second Meadowlands school opens next year.

To balance the proposed $542.7-million budget, trustees had already found the bulk of the $5 million through job cuts from school closures and a two-per-cent reduction in non-contractual spending.

Committee chair Wes Hicks stressed the budget won’t be finalized until after it’s presented at a public meeting on May 25 and reviewed by the full board of trustees.

Trustees are scheduled to meet twice to discuss and potentially make changes before the budget goes to the board for final approval on June 15.

“At this time, things look really, really good,” Hicks said. “To balance the budget this early with, it seems, consensus, we’re in the right direction.”

Bigger grants help Hamilton public school board balance budget

News May 07, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

More provincial cash and one last cut have helped the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board find the final $800,000 of $5 million needed to balance its proposed budget for the coming year.

Treasurer Stacey Zucker said most of the outstanding money came from more precise Ministry of Education calculations that resulted in an overall grant increase of $500,000.

While the board is getting $250,000 less than anticipated to maintain and run schools, it gained in two areas, the biggest being an extra $575,000 to deal with declining enrolment, she told members of the finance and facilities committee.

“The ministry has told us that they did change the formula for how they do declining enrolment,” Zucker said. “They recognize that you can’t make changes overnight.”

“At this time, things look really, really good.”

The remaining $300,000 will come from phasing out of many childcare subsidies, projected to bring in $100,000 in rental fees next year, and a freeze on the information technology department’s budget.

Zucker said the department had requested a $500,000 increase and the freeze will help offset an additional $300,000 increase to the transportation budget, already set to rise by $700,000.

About two-thirds of the extra money will go to a contractual rate increase, with the rest covering changes from school closures and the cost of busing Ancaster students to Chedoke Elementary School until a second Meadowlands school opens next year.

To balance the proposed $542.7-million budget, trustees had already found the bulk of the $5 million through job cuts from school closures and a two-per-cent reduction in non-contractual spending.

Committee chair Wes Hicks stressed the budget won’t be finalized until after it’s presented at a public meeting on May 25 and reviewed by the full board of trustees.

Trustees are scheduled to meet twice to discuss and potentially make changes before the budget goes to the board for final approval on June 15.

“At this time, things look really, really good,” Hicks said. “To balance the budget this early with, it seems, consensus, we’re in the right direction.”

Bigger grants help Hamilton public school board balance budget

News May 07, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

More provincial cash and one last cut have helped the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board find the final $800,000 of $5 million needed to balance its proposed budget for the coming year.

Treasurer Stacey Zucker said most of the outstanding money came from more precise Ministry of Education calculations that resulted in an overall grant increase of $500,000.

While the board is getting $250,000 less than anticipated to maintain and run schools, it gained in two areas, the biggest being an extra $575,000 to deal with declining enrolment, she told members of the finance and facilities committee.

“The ministry has told us that they did change the formula for how they do declining enrolment,” Zucker said. “They recognize that you can’t make changes overnight.”

“At this time, things look really, really good.”

The remaining $300,000 will come from phasing out of many childcare subsidies, projected to bring in $100,000 in rental fees next year, and a freeze on the information technology department’s budget.

Zucker said the department had requested a $500,000 increase and the freeze will help offset an additional $300,000 increase to the transportation budget, already set to rise by $700,000.

About two-thirds of the extra money will go to a contractual rate increase, with the rest covering changes from school closures and the cost of busing Ancaster students to Chedoke Elementary School until a second Meadowlands school opens next year.

To balance the proposed $542.7-million budget, trustees had already found the bulk of the $5 million through job cuts from school closures and a two-per-cent reduction in non-contractual spending.

Committee chair Wes Hicks stressed the budget won’t be finalized until after it’s presented at a public meeting on May 25 and reviewed by the full board of trustees.

Trustees are scheduled to meet twice to discuss and potentially make changes before the budget goes to the board for final approval on June 15.

“At this time, things look really, really good,” Hicks said. “To balance the budget this early with, it seems, consensus, we’re in the right direction.”