Education has been a contentious issue even during the election campaign for the leader of the Saskatchewan Party. So there was little doubt that many people were watching and waiting to see what would be unveiled for the school divisions across the province. 

"We were encouraged to see that the government is starting to restore some of the funding that's been cut from education," shared Shelley Toth, Chief Financial Officer for the Southeast Cornerstone Public School Division. "But somewhat disappointing as well because I don't know that it's going to be enough to balance the budget for next year."

The school divisions in the province will receive $1,87 billion for the 2018/19 school year. This is an increase of $30 million, a 1.6% increase from last year. The funds are expected to go towards hiring approximately 400 teachers and support staff.

"We had a decrease of 3% last year and a decrease of 2.1% the year before and we had a deficit for our 2016/17 school year and we budgeted a deficit for this year. Given that we weren't successful with those prior year cuts in balancing our budget, I don't know if that increase is going to be enough to balance the budget."

"Having said that, we don't know yet. We're in the process of building it and it will be reviewed by the senior leadership team and our board as well. And the board will have to approve the budget at their June 20th meeting in order to meet the June 30th deadline for the province."

Toth added that it is too early to guess how much that shortfall might be.

"At this point, I don't have an idea. We're still working on our staffing budget which is a significant portion of our budget. 73% of our costs are salaries and benefits so until I have that number, I can't begin to guess how short we are."

She did note that restriction on how funds are used have been lifted. 

"Last year, the Ministry weighed in a little bit and decided that they were going to place restrictions on how much could be spent on governance and how much could be spent on board member PD (professional development) and that a minimum amount had to be spent on minor renovations. They've retracted all those restrictions this year so it gives each school division the ability to spend in areas that they feel are needed for funding."

The province is also committing $49.6 million for preventative maintenance, renewal and emergency funding which is a 14.8% increase from last year. 

"That's a separate calculation outside of the operating funding that we received. The Ministry has been fabulous at increasing that money every year and there are parameters around how that money has to be spent. It's looking after your buildings, it's your roof replacements, your heating and ventilation systems, general repairs and maintenance and that sort of thing. So we are very appreciate of that funding."

More Local News

SaskPower Pleased With Performance Of CCS at Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station had a great year in 2018, according to their vice president of power production, Howard Matthews. The facility…

Millions for Crop Research in Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced more than $12 million in funding for forty-four crop-related research…

Humane Society Receives Big Boost With $5000 Grant

The humane society has recently received a $5000 grant from the Western Financial western community foundation. Angela Prette with the humane society was extremely happy with the amount of the grant…

Bitter Winds Sticking Around

After some balmy temperatures and days to start the new year, more traditional Saskatchewan weather has moved in for the third week of January. Cold days and even colder nights with bitter winds is…

Snowplow Safety Important For Everyone

With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked…

Accident On 13th Ave and King Street

A two-vehicle collision took place early Wednesday morning. "At approximately 7:45 this morning, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of 13th Avenue and King Street," explained…

The Difference Between Norovirus and Influenza Explained

Norovirus has been identified as the cause of a number of cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the province. "Norovirus is a type of virus that affects the intestinal system," explained Doctor…

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and…

Pharmacies Running Out Of Flu Vaccine

It’s been a tough flu season in Canada and now some pharmacies in the Estevan area have been running out of the flu vaccine. Jeff Hilderman at the Estevan Pharmasave has seen his pharmacy run out of… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide