It looks like students in School District No. 46 (SD46) will get a little more funding next year, despite a projected decline in enrollment.
SD46 secretary treasurer Nicholas Weswick presented the 2012/2013 draft school district budget to the public on May 1, showing SD46 plans to spend a total of $35,659,521 in the next school year.
That money is split up between three areas with the majority, $23,511,183, going to schools. The remaining roughly $12 million is divided between administration and student support costs such as therapeutic staff, early learning and Aboriginal education.
The district holds back about $5.2 million of the school funding to pay for things like school based special education services, leaving $18,252,568 for distribution to schools to pay for things like teacher salaries and supplies.
With a projected 3,074 students in the district next year, that equates to an average of $5,938 per student — up $15 from last year’s average per pupil amount.
The increase is unusual as the district is funded on a per pupil basis and they are projecting a loss of 79 full time students next year.
But thanks to $160,389 in enrollment decline funding from the Ministry of Education and a change to eliminate $1.3 million in transportation funding to instead add $1.7 million in student location funding, the allocation per student can rise next year.
“Our goal was to preserve the per pupil funding amount to schools because that’s what they use to hire teachers and support staff. We were able to do so by finding cost reductions elsewhere and also through some changes to the funding package,” Weswick said.
“On our district budget we’ve gone from a $12.1 million budget to an $11.9 million budget. We’ve reduced our supplies budgets and also made some staffing changes.”
SD46 submits their enrollment estimates to the Ministry in February and must have a budget submitted for the upcoming school year by June 30. When the actual enrolment counts are done at the end of September the Ministry issues an interim funding report and then budget revisions are made.
The school board is expected to have another look at the numbers during their next school board meeting on May 8 at 7 p.m. at the school board office. The public is welcome to attend all school board meetings.