The Carlington Summit

OCCSB new releases as edited

by David Darwin.

The boundaries for the 10 Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board (OCCSB) Trustee zones for the new City of Ottawa have been established by the Chief Returning Officer CRO).

Provincial legislation gave the CRO the authority to set the boundaries for the municipal election in November, after consultation with the Director of Education. The new zones are identical to a model which was endorsed by the Board at its meeting on July 5.

With the proclamation of the new City of Ottawa on January 1, 2001, the province has established 21 new city wards. According to legislation, the 10 Trustee zones had to be established along the same boundaries as these wards. The challenge for the Chief Returning Officer was to establish 10 geographic Trustee zones that contain approximately the same share of the 156,121 Catholic school electors.

In his final report, the CRO said the zone boundary model which was approved offers “the most balanced distribution for representation.”

The new zone boundaries will be in effect for the term of the new Board, from December 1, 2000 until November 30, 2003. The election date is Monday, November 13, 2000. For future elections, trustees will be able to make adjustments to the zone boundaries if they feel there is a need for change.

Board approves balanced 2000-2001 budget

The OCCSB adopted on June 27, 2000 an operating fund budget for the 2000-2001 school year developed in accordance with the provincial funding model which totals $257,035,000.

The budget provides for 2000-2001 enrolment of 37,837 students, a growth of 1.5% elementary and 3.2% secondary, and complies with all funding model envelope requirements.

Under the funding model, approximately 60% of all OCCSB spending is to occur directly in the classroom, with a further 14% being spent outside the classroom but at the school level, on such items as principals, vice-principals, school secretaries and teacher preparation time, for a total of 74%.

A further 23% is directed to continuing education, school utility costs and repairs and transportation of students.

Virtually all revenues (98%) are received directly from the Province of Ontario in the form of government grant allocations. The remaining 2% is attributable to continuing education tuition fees, community use of school rental revenues and other long-term lease revenues.

Education spending is very labour intensive. For 2000-2001, salaries and benefits will comprise 79% of Operating Fund expenditures. Expenditures for salaries and benefits are determined by staffing policies and practices of the Board based upon projected student enrolment and legislated average class sizes.

Most non-salary, non-classroom budgeted expenditures for 2000-2001 have been held at or below levels of the previous year.

Significant increases in the Operating Fund budget include debt charges on a new $30-million debenture issued in November 1999 ($2.6 million), a transfer to Reserve for Classroom expenditures ($1.1 million) necessitated by a provincial redirection of funding from the non-classroom to classroom envelope for 2000-2001 and a $1.5-million injection of funds for school operations, utilities and maintenance.

Capital fund expenditures of $5,747,000 represent a substantial decrease from 1999-2000 due to the completion of the large capital construction program in 1998/99 and 1999/2000, which included one new high school, three new elementary schools and one major elementary school renovation project.