Catholic School Board Tables Balanced Budget

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has balanced its books for the upcoming school year.

The board tabled its 2019-2020 draft budget at its regular meeting Tuesday night coming in at just under $260-million.

Chair Fulvio Valentinis says, with the many cuts rolled out by the Doug Ford led PCs, presenting a balanced document is an accomplishment in and of itself.

He says Ministry of Education announcements have created a moving target.

"There will continue to be challenges as the ministry keeps coming out with their announcements and refinements of their announcements, but you have to be realistic and we think it's a very realistic budget. I wasn't always sure we were going to get there, but at this point I think we're in a good position."

Valentinis says administration has done a great job in handling those pressures.

"It's almost like, I don't want to say 'death by a million cuts', but it get complicated. So you take a little here and a little bit there and then you realize that cumulatively it does have a significant impact. So there's been a lot of re-shuffling of their finances and their funding."

He says one slight funding increase the board saw was $178,000 for special education.

"There's no question, there was such a backlash and response to the original announcement in terms of the cutbacks for students on the autism spectrum. So they've certainly adjusted that and they've put more monies into that particular area for training people and for trying to meet some of these challenges."

The budget is available online for the next two weeks to allow for public feedback.

The board plans to approve the finalized document at its June 24 meeting.