The classic balancing act, better known as a budget, will become more critical than ever in the months ahead for educators across Saskatchewan.
They recently received word from the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation that the 2018 provincial budget may contain a few more cuts their way, though it is as of yet unguaranteed.
"Presently where we are at, when it comes to making predictions on where the budget is going to lie and where it may lie, is completely assumption stage. When looking at where we've been, we've certainly had reduced budgets in the past," said Lynn Little, the Director of the Southeast Cornerstone School Division, adding that they have no indication of what to expect.
"With a new leader in place etc, there's always room for growth and change, and we give the government an opportunity to move forward on those pieces. As we're building our budget, we're building it based on our need, and knowing that the cost will be tight regardless of what it is. We know that we're not going to have an excess of funding, but hoping that it isn't a reduction and hoping that it's not a status quo."
While forming that budget is a constant task year round, the main work usually gets underway in December. That said, the SECSD doesn't rely solely on provincial funding, though it does make up the majority.
"We receive some funding that is actually new within the last year from the federal government for Jordan's Principle. That's funding that supports First Nations students, whether on reserve or off reserve, but supporting special needs and special programs that they may need, and accommodations. We also receive funding directly from students that are attending the provincial schools from the Band school, so that is also coming through INAC, which is federal funding," Little said.
However, the bulk of their financial assistance comes through the funding and grants received from the Saskatchewan government, with the amount depending on primarily student enrollment, among several other factors such as maintenance and renovations.