Approving the budget for the Calgary Catholic School District is one of the primary responsibilities of the Board of Trustees. Working on the budget is not a single event, but a process. We are continuously reviewing elements of the budget as part of the process leading up to approval, to ensure it supports our district priorities, which are rooted in success for every student.
Many elements are considered during this process—from a strategic plan for the district to pre-budget consultations, to community engagement and board direction. During the pre-budget process in December 2017, we internally examined various types of data from student enrollment to staffing to new school projects. Then, in February and March 2018, we gather input from parents, students and staff about budget priorities. We feel that connecting with the community is one of the most important steps in the whole budget process.
To do this, we are again utilizing ThoughtExchange, an online service that allows us to actively engage the community through detailed questions and responses. In the past, we have received a variety of insights from stakeholders, such as wanting increased help for diverse learners and how greatly appreciated staff and teachers are in our district.
After our pre-budget process and stakeholder consultations, we look to the annual provincial budget for funding decisions from the government, which is usually released in February or March. Once we have that information, we aim to balance the resources we are given to make the best possible decisions for the students we serve. Predictable, stable funding is imperative to providing excellence in Catholic education for all of our students. As a board, we actively advocate for the needs of our district and collaborate with the provincial government regularly to meet these needs.
As trustees, we then approve the budget in May or June. An important role of trustees is managing fiduciary responsibility for the school district and ensuring that the budget reflects our three-year plan, educational priorities and needs of our communities. Our budget decisions are based on our commitment to ensure all students are successful by providing excellence in teaching and learning and a supportive environment enriched by our Catholic faith.