GSSD Board of Education Reviews 2015-2016 Provincial Budget Implications

Good Spirit School Division No. 204
Media Release – March 20, 2015

GSSD Board of Education Reviews 2015-2016 Provincial Budget Implications

At its regular board meeting of Thursday, March 19, 2015, the Good Spirit School Division Board of Education discussed the provincial budget that was released on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Initial reaction is positive in hearing the good news that our budget for 2015-2016 was not reduced.

Sherry Todosichuk, Superintendent of Business Administration, had a short time to review the information provided from the Ministry of Education and, based on initial review, provided the following breakdown:

  • Total recognized expenditures = $73.7 million which includes an additional $2.17 million from this past year of operations but the majority of those dollars are already committed as follows. Teacher collective bargaining provincial agreement costs for the division
    equate to $1.8 million; $350,000 for local collective bargaining support agreement commitments; and $200,000 shortfall in SUB plan benefits (a top-up of wages for teachers on Employment Insurance during maternity leave). In previous years, school divisions would apply to receive a reimbursement for benefits paid which will no longer happen.
  • Preventative Maintenance and Renewal Funding increased from $950,000 to $1.18 million; this is an area of high need as it used specifically in major repairs of facilities (for example, roof repair);
  • Construction of the new school in Langenburg will continue to receive funding as previously committed; and,
  • Supports For Learning will receive an additional $148,000; this is extremely positive news for students.
  • Overall, this reflects a budget shortfall of $180,000.

“As we head into the budgeting process, I am optimistic that we will be able to shift financial resources to address our top priorities as needed,” states Mrs. Todosichuk. “Senior administration will be asked to have the critical conversations around these priorities heading into the next school year to determine how dollars will be spent.”

“Our strategic priorities, including literacy and graduation rates, will be front and center in the budgetary decision-making process,” affirms Lois Smandych, Board Chair. “Board members make it a priority to be a part of the budgeting process and will spend extra time at upcoming board meetings to ensure all areas of education are addressed for our communities and, specifically, see that we provide an environment which allows for the highest personal achievement levels for all students. We are extremely happy to see that the construction in Langenburg remains a priority for the government. From initial conversations, the budget could have been much harsher on education but we are pleased with the monies committed to date.”

The Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, June 2nd to review the budget in its entirety. A finalized draft of the budget will be presented to the Board of Education for approval at their regularly scheduled meeting on June 18, 2015. The budget must be completed and forwarded for approval to the Ministry of Education prior to the end of June.

For further information, contact Mr. Dwayne Reeve, Director of Education, at
306-786-5500.

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