Trustees have approved the District School Board of Niagara’s 2022/23 budget totaling $546.6 million – $24 million higher than the 2021/22 school year. The additional $24 million, allocated in the Grants for Student Needs (GSN), is due in part to the steadily increasing enrolment happening at DSBN schools.
For the 2022/23 school year, student enrolment is expected to grow by approximately 2.57% –over 1,000 students – bringing the projected total number of students at the DSBN to beyond 40,000. To support climbing enrolment, DSBN has hired over 130 staff, including educational assistants, early childhood educators, 70 teachers, and 23 special education staff.
Highlights within DSBN’s 2022/23 budget include:
- Providing the best support to students by hiring 70 educators, and adding 23 staff to the special education and mental health and well-being teams
- Investing approximately $2 million in system-wide Mental Health & Well-Being supports
- Investing over $1.7 million to enhance Indigenous Education
- Allocating $68 million to effectively support Special Education
- Allocating over $5.6 million for COVID-19 learning recovery
- An additional $528,000 towards one-to-one elementary tutoring
- An additional $168,000 to enhance summer learning programs
“Balancing the needs of the future while recognizing that we are still gradually moving out of the pandemic was key in developing this budget,” said Kevin Maves, Chair of the Finance Committee and Trustee for Niagara Falls. “This is why this budget focuses on proper staffing, expanding academic programming and supports, as well as strategies to support individual learning needs of DSBN students.”
“Our goal is always to do what is best for students. And with this budget, we are doing just that by prioritizing key programs and supports, such as mental health and well-being, Indigenous education, and, with rising enrolment, adding a significant number of staff to ensure that students are supported with their learning and growth, and are set up to succeed,” said Warren Hoshizaki, Director of Education. “We are looking towards next year optimistically, and we are already prepared to welcome students, families, and staff back in September for what promises to be an excellent school year ahead.”
DSBN continues to ensure financial responsibility with funds by earmarking $62.6 million in accumulated surplus reserves, which is available to use to invest in future needs, such as equipment and capital priorities, or to respond to any priorities that may arise.