Rainbow District School Board approved a budget of $182.5 million for the 2015-2016 school year at its regular meeting on June 30, 2015. Changes in the Grants for Student Needs and ongoing declining enrolment resulted in a budget shortfall of $1.66 million.
“These changes will continue to have a negative impact on our revenue,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar. “We estimate a reduction of approximately $4 million in our grants over the next three years. This is a significant loss for our Board.”
“In order to balance the budget for the coming school year, trustees had to make some difficult decisions.” She added: “We will need to continue to look for efficiencies to reduce our expenditures in the years ahead, including the consolidation of space and programs.”
The 2015-2016 budget represents a decrease in non-teaching staff, program budgets, professional learning for staff, and budgets for academic superintendents. A total of $463,000 has been withdrawn from the accumulated surplus reserve.
Rainbow District School Board is projecting a decline of 279 full-time equivalent students this fall. Enrolment is predicted to drop to 13,441. A total of 77 per cent of the budget, or $141 million, has been allocated to salaries and benefits.
The Ministry of Education has provided additional funding to assist with rising electricity costs in schools. The second year of a three-year capital renewal program will be implemented in 2015-2016. Funding for school capital projects will almost double, reaching $5.3 million.
Rainbow District School Board operates 35 elementary school buildings and 9 secondary school buildings in Sudbury, Espanola, Manitoulin and Shining Tree.
The Board also offers educational programs at Barrydowne College (a re-engagement school at Cambrian College), the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre, the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, the Children’s Treatment Centre, the Ruth MacMillan Centre, Frank Flowers School and Cecil Facer Secondary School.