Trustees approved the budget during their June 2 meeting. The 2020-2021 district budget calls for $385.8 million in operations and capital projects expenses.
Finance department staff project a possible $400,000 surplus for the budget at the end of the fiscal year if there prove to be some cost savings or additional senior government financial aid.
Budget report highlights include $48.9 million dedicated to special education programs and services. This equals 12.8 per cent of the total district expenses for the school year.
Other budget highlights include $1 million for mental health support for district schools, $4.6 million in support funding for the district’s Indigenous Education program, $1.2 million for ongoing remote and digital learning program support, $1.1 million invested in student technology aid, and $300,000 to support the Kemptville Apprenticeship Program.
The district will also invest $50 million in school and childcare capital works projects, as well as additions, upgrades and retrofits to various school and district facilities.
The budget has a $2.2 million contingency fund to support the district’s COVID-19 response plan, including needed purchases of personal protective equipment, and approved sick leaves. This is extra money allocated in the district budget and does not include the $4 million that the Education Ministry has already provided for COVID-19 response needs.