Good Governance for School Boards

Trustee Professional Development Program

Module 13 — School Board Finance

Last updated in September 2019

Videos developed in 2015

School Board Finance
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Module 13 is composed of 3 videos (Part A, B and C) in which trustees will explore:

  • Ontario’s education funding formula - the Grants for Student Needs (GSN)
  • The legislative context for a school board’s financial responsibilities
  • The school board budgeting process

Trustees should use the information presented in this module to ensure effective stewardship of the board’s resources, as required under the Education Act.

Note: Annual adjustments are made to the GSN. As such, the information provided below is based on a single point in time and may not reflect the current funding formula. For the most up to date information, please visit the ministry’s Education Funding webpage.

Before reviewing Part A, please note these changes:

  • Smaller schools receive prorated funding for a principal based on enrolment, not necessarily a half-time principal.
  • "Indigenous" is now used instead of "First Nation, Métis and Inuit" Education.
  • For the latest information about Pupil Accommodation Reviews, please visit the ministry website.
  • The "School Consolidation Capital Grant" no longer exists.
  • Boards may submit 10 business cases through the Capital Priorities process.
  • References to "School Board Efficiencies and Modernization: Constraint and Reinvestment Measures" are outdated.
  • References to a "Provincial Framework Agreement" are outdated. Collective agreements in Ontario’s education sector are now negotiated pursuant to the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014.
  • References to technical advisory committees (e.g. School Board Administration and Governance Working Group) are outdated, none currently exist.
  • In addition to funds provided through the GSN, boards also receive time-limited investments through the Priorities and Partnerships Fund (PPF), formerly the "Education Programs – Other" fund. The PPF invests in initiatives that directly support students in the classroom, are evidence-based and outcome-focused. The PPF is reviewed and assessed by the ministry each year.

Before reviewing Part B, please note these changes:

  • O. Reg. 280/10 (Calculation of Maximum In-Year Deficit) requires boards who have an adjusted in-year deficit to submit a plan showing the planned changes in revenues and expenses that will result in elimination of the deficit within two years.
  • Board budgets are based on a fiscal year of September 1 to August 31, as opposed to the government’s fiscal year of April 1 to March 31.
  • Ontario Regulation 361/10: Audit Committees describes the composition, power and duties of an audit committee.

Before reviewing Part C, please note these changes:

  • The module suggests a budget timetable with dates and activities throughout the school year. Boards can determine and set their own schedules.
  • Financial Statements for the previous year are due in November.

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