Approved Budget

On June 10, the Board unanimously approved the OCDSB 2024-2025 operating budget of $1.2 billion and capital budget of $127.8 million.

This budget makes investments in key priority areas, including the introduction of a new Indigenous student trustee; increased special education supports, specifically new communication disorder assistants, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and educational assistants; and human resources to support payroll, disability claims, and elementary programming.

The District operates on a fiscal year that runs from September 1 to August 31. Prior to the start of each fiscal year, the Board is required to approve a budget before the end of June. Under the terms of the Education Act, school boards are required to present a balanced budget, which was the primary focus in crafting the 2024-2025 plan.

This year, the Ministry of Education changed the previous funding model terms and arrangements. These changes were not meant to be a contraction or expansion in funding but a realignment for transparency and to provide planners a better understanding of funding purpose. After reviewing our financial position once enrollment projections were entered, it was determined that an additional $1.2 million was available for the investments detailed above.

The OCDSB is expected to have an enrolment of approximately 77,000 students for the 2024-2025 school year.

Highlights from 2024-2025 Budget

  • Total operating budget of $1,169,323,005
  • Total capital spending authorization is $127,838,114, including $37.24 million in capital priorities (such as the building of new schools), $10.31 million in school renewal, and $54.14 million in school condition improvement.
  • 8,588.56 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, an increase of 91.18 (FTE).
  • $158.4 million to support students with special education needs (a $18.2 million increase from previous year’s budget)

Background and Resources

Every spring, the OCDSB is required to finalize our annual budget for the next school year. This plan outlines how funds will be spent to support students across the district.

The OCDSB serves roughly 77,000 students in 146 schools. We employ more than 10,000 people and have an annual budget of approximately $1 billion.

An education budget is much more than a fiscal spreadsheet. It’s an action plan outlining important investments to help all students reach their full potential. Behind the numbers, you will find:

  • Educational assistants there for learners with complex needs
  • New computers and technology to spark a love of STEM
  • Accessibility upgrades, roof repairs, new water fountains and plumbing
  • Mental health professionals, guidance counsellors and wellness experts to support the well-being of students and staff
  • Literacy training and new learning programs to boost reading skills

​February 27, 2024 Board Meeting

February 20, 2024 Committee of the Whole Meeting

On February 20, 2024, the Committee of the Whole met to discuss the revised 2023-2024 estimates, provide an overview of the budget process for 2024-2025, share a needs analysis related to transportation, special education, mental health and well-being, capital and facilities, replacement costs, and cyber security.

June 3, 2024 Committee of the Whole Meeting

On June 3, 2024, the staff-recommended budget was put forward for discussion. Community members can view the budget below and provide questions and comments through Engage OCDSB until June 10th.

FAQ

Financial Landscape

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board recently released a new 4-year Strategic Plan built on three key priority areas - learning, well-being, and social responsibility. These strategic priorities guide the allocation of resources in the annual budget. Any new investments should advance the Board’s strategic priorities.

Most of the funding school districts receive is attached to the average daily enrolment of students (ADE). Enrolment growth provides additional flexibility in responding to funding changes and service demands, while declining enrolment reduces this flexibility. For the 2024-2025 budget process, the OCDSB is currently projecting enrolment to remain steady with no significant growth in 2025.

In 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, the Board had an accumulated surplus and was able to use these funds to make some key investments to offset some of the challenges experienced during and post pandemic. While those were important actions, the Board no longer has an accumulated surplus and can only fund new projects or initiatives with new provincial funding or by finding offsetting savings. An important part of current and future budgets will be to approve a balanced budget and where possible, rebuild a small surplus to ensure funds are available for future unexpected events.

The Board faces several financial challenges in the 2025 school year. The most significant are:

  • The Board found significant savings in 2024 by reducing $2.5 million from the technology budget. This was a one time savings to be reinvested in 2025;
  • The Board must find the resources for the cessation of transitional funding provided by the Ministry;
  • Inflation continues to add pressure in maintaining the delivery of current programs across the system; and
  • Other areas of pressure continue to include Transportation, Special Education, and Replacement Costs.

As part of the 2024-2025 budget process, the Board has asked staff to undertake an analysis of need in key areas, including transportation, special education, mental health, cost of replacement workers, capital funding, and cybersecurity. Staff will be reporting on this work throughout the budget process.

The OCDSB is required to prepare a balanced budget. In Ontario, a school board is allowed to run a 1% deficit (of operating grants provided from the Ministry of Education) if it has surplus available to cover it, and provincial approval is obtained. The OCDSB no longer has an operating surplus which means the budget must be balanced within provincial funding. The passing of a balanced budget is a key step in supporting the financial health of the organization and complying with Ministry guidelines.