The Prairie Valley School Division received their budget development for the 2014-15 school year, during their regular meeting on April 14.
Division administration has just finished reviewing the provincial budget allocation to determine the implications it will have on their division. Staff brought the preliminary budget plan to this board meeting for discussion.
Their revenue outlook for next year is quite flat. Their grant funding increased by 1.3 per cent; however, all of this increase is earmarked to repay borrowing costs on ministry sponsored major capital work. The result, therefore, is a zero-increase funding scenario.
The board continues to be concerned with the ministry of education’s funding allocation formula, particularly given another planned reduction in Supports for Learning. Their first priority is to protect instructional time between teachers and students and they want to maintain that contact time.
Budget development work will continue in May and the final recommended budget will be brought to the board in June for approval and submission to the Ministry of Education.
The board received changes to transportation into Regina schools. Over many years, Prairie Valley School Division and legacy divisions have transported some students to Regina schools, due to historical attendance patterns or for French Immersion or other programming that was not available in rural schools.
This year, 241 of 8,300 Prairie Valley students are transported to a school in the Regina Public or Regina Catholic systems or to the Luther College High School.
Recently, the Regina Public School Division and the Regina Catholic School Division notified Prairie Valley that, because of significant enrolment growth in some schools, Prairie Valley residents will no longer be admitted to certain Regina schools as of fall 2014.
New admissions for the 2014-2015 school year will be limited to the Regina residents of the attendance areas for: Campbell Collegiate and Grant Road School, and LeBoldus High School, Deshaye Elementary School and St. Gabriel Elementary School.
Both systems plan to grandfather current students and their siblings, therefore these changes apply to new admissions starting with the 2014-2015 school year.
Prairie Valley has developed a plan that is being communicated to all parents whose children will affected by these changes that will continue to provide transportation services into Regina schools for the 2014-2015 school year, working within the schools that the Regina systems have made available to Prairie Valley students.
For 2015-2016 and beyond, transportation will be provided to Prairie Valley schools only, with transitional services for current high school students and other specific situations.
Over the next several months, Prairie Valley will be conducting a detailed assessment to develop transportation routes for 2015-2016. The Prairie Valley board will communicate more information to families in the fall, including which Prairie Valley school will serve each area.