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

Sidhu Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison

Families and friends of the Broncos, most adorned in Broncos jerseys bearing their family names, gathered once again in the makeshift courtroom at the Kerry Vickar Centre in Melfort to learn the fate…

Southeast Cornerstone School Division Underfunded Again in Provincial Budget

Reactions continuing to come in from those impacted by the 2019 Provincial Budget released yesterday. Chief Financial Officer with the Southeast Cornerstone Public School Division Shelley Toth said…

Police Broke Up Some Fights Last Night

The Estevan Police Service had their fair share of fights to break up last night. Police were called to a local business parking lot to a report of a fight between four males and a female. Police…

Roman Catholic School Division Seeks To Grow Truth And Reconciliation

The Holy Family has been committed to growing Truth and Reconciliation within their school division. Superintendent Terry Jordens, "We've been working with Truth and Reconciliation for a number of…

St. Mary's School Celebrates Rock Your Socks

Rock Your Socks is a program that many throughout the Energy City continue to participate in each year, to bring awareness to Down Syndrome Awareness Day. Special Olympics Active Start and…

Active Start And FUNdamentals Special Olympics Season Comes To Close

The Special Olympics programs hosted their training day to be a Special Olympics coach in Estevan Sunday, December 16, 2018. Kandyce Meili coordinator, "We had the Special Olympics Active Start and…

St. Joseph's Hospital Down a Doctor

The St. Joseph's Hospital has taken a hit recently to their staffing through maternity leave, but now they face a much more permanent loss. Dr. Ahmad Sawwan, their specialist in Obstetrics &…

Spring Melt Means Potholes

It's no surprise to anyone that has driven on paved roads in Canada that the spring weather always uncovers some nasty potholes. Surprisingly though, Estevan is sitting pretty clean when it comes to…

Federal Budget 2019: Local MP Dr. Robert Kitchen

Souris-Moose Mountain MP Doctor Robert Kitchen didn’t sugarcoat his opinion on the federal budget delivered in Ottawa on Tuesday. “This is all staged to be a cover-up,” Kitchen said, alluding to the…

Wildlife Federation Voices Displeasure over Office Closures

Last week the Ministry of Environment announced the closure of 19 field offices, including the one here in Estevan. The decision was a result of budgte cuts and will impact 19 jobs, three of which… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide