On June 1, the 2016-2017 provincial budget was announced in the legislature with a 0.5% increase in operating funds for the Education sector. Chinook School Division received an overall allocation of $82.44M. This results in a $1.7M decrease in funding, which generates an estimated operational deficit of $3.6M for Chinook. This deficit is caused by an enrolment decline, increased teacher and support staff salaries, technology upgrades and less revenue received from the Ministry.
“To address this shortfall we have already generated $1M of the $3.6M in savings internally. The lateness of the budget delivery will force us to turn to our reserves to cover the remainder of the costs,” said Board Chair Larry Caswell, “The Ministry of Education has stated that they are committed to keeping student success at the top of their priority list and in alignment with this, Chinook will remain focused on the goal of ensuring our students receive the best education and supports possible.”
Director of Education, Liam Choo-Foo, explains what Chinook has already done to alleviate the impact on students and staff in the coming school year, “To make up for the shortfall, we found $1M in operational savings through internal means such as administrative efficiencies and staff attrition. The remaining $2.6M will be made up with Board reserves. We will still continue to look for savings wherever possible, however using reserves is not a sustainable practice and unless more funds are granted by the government next year, we will be forced to review our programs and services in order to realign our spending,” said Choo-Foo.
As the Board works to finalize their budget for 2016-17, they will continue to align the Division strategic plan with the Education sector plan. Chinook is committed to the priorities of math and literacy with the full implementation of Saskatchewan Reads, and will focus on student engagement as they work to improve graduation rates and attendance.
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For more information, contact:
Joanne Booth, Communications Coordinator
Chinook School Division
Phone: 306-778-9200 Ext 218
PHOTO (L-R): Julie McRae, Deputy Minister of Education; Hon. Don Morgan, Minister of Education
(Education sector budget presentation on June 1, 2016)