School District 51 (SD51) announced their 2012-2013 funding during a public meeting last week on April 12 at the School Board Office.
In 2012-2013, there will be changes to the funding, which includes a loss 1.5 per cent funding per year until funding protection disappears.
With funding protection ($504,190), SD51 will be receiving $15,482,066 next year, which is 98.5 per cent of last year’s budget.
In the subsequent years, with the 1.5 per cent decrease, SD51 will receive $15,249,835 in 2013/2014 and $15,021,087 in 2014/2015.
“I’m thinking funding protection may disappear in year four, but with enrolment decline, it could be a few more years,” explained Jeanette Hanlon, secretary-treasurer for SD51. “We need 74 students to get out of funding protection.”
Hanlon noted that funding protection is both good and bad.
“If we get more students, we don’t have any more income coming in but we might have to have a classroom,” she explained.
Board chair Teresa Rezansoff added, “If the ministry keeps increasing the per pupil amount, that would push us out quickly. So if we had 73 kids in, we’d have to absolve them within those dollars.”
SD51 is one of 42 school districts that are currently in funding protection since the 2006-2007 school year.
There are only 18 districts not in funding protection in the province.
Other changes include geographical factors that have benefited SD51 because the Ministry of Education has included transportation funding into it based on student location factor.
Along with the $20,000 for transportation funding, SD51 also received a supplement.
“We did get a one-time supplement for the Education Plan of $27,478,” said Hanlon. “They haven’t announced what the criteria for that spending is yet, but it will be announced in a couple weeks.”
The Learning Improvement Fund, which is additional funding for classroom enhancement, has also seen an increase due to savings during the three-day teacher strike to $199,288.
Superintendent of Schools Michael Strukoff stated that the operating savings will kept in the education sector.
“Originally when they announced this fund, it was $30 million year one, $60 million year two and $75 million year three and going forward,” he said. “Money that was saved from the teacher job action strike, $30 million will be added to year one. It’s going from $30 to $60 million. Originally we only had $99,000, so that’s why it’s almost $200,000, they’ve added the extra $30 million.”
In total, SD51 will be receiving $199,288 for the Learning Improvement Fund for 2012/2013 year.
“How they came up with that amount, is they took how much of the provincial budget you get and divided it up that way,” stated Hanlon. “From the $7 million in provincial savings, during the strike, the district gets to keep (what we saved). Our savings is estimated to be around $20,000.”
According to Hanlon, the $199,288 is for support for the classroom, either teacher time, educational assistant support, health care assistant support or Pro-D.
“It has to be approved by the board and teachers will have input on classroom design and what support they will need,” she added. “It will be decided between our principals and the teachers will come up with a plan. Some of that will have to be saved because come September, reality is usually different than what it looked like at June.”
The province had initially put $165 million towards the settlement of Bill 27 and 28, which dealt with class size and composition.