Trustees for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) received encouraging news in the financial report for first half of the 2020-2021 school year. Finance Manager Ashley Hutchinson reported during the February 16 CDSBEO board meeting that less money was spent during the first four months of the school year than anticipated.
“Our total expenditures are tracking approximately 4.4 per cent less than what we spent this time last year,” Hutchinson stated, regarding the September to December 2020 financial report.
The CDSBEO budgeted about $202.3 million for the 2020-2021 operation year. Hutchinson noted that the end-of-December expense total indicates actual costs for the four-month period have been below and that could mean a potential surplus at the end of the school year.
Several factors are credited for the reduced expenses, including lower supply costs, less travel and professional development costs for staff, and less demand so far for snow removal work at CDSBEO facilities.
Hutchinson also noted that the CDSBEO has received more than $9 million from the Education Ministry to assist with extra operation costs related to the pandemic. So far, she estimated, costs for adaptation of school facilities and programming because of COVID-19 should amount to about $9.6 million. That figure also includes the extra expense of hiring more staff for the Virtual Learning Elementary School setup, custodial staff, and also providing mental health support for staff and students related to COVID-19.