Chinook School Division has finalized a budget for the 2015-2016 school year. The planned expenditures will allow Chinook to proceed with key priorities of Math and Literacy in the Division’s strategic plan, as well as the Education Sector Strategic Plan that stems from the province’s growth plan.
Chinook will also complete various capital projects around the division in 2015-2016, including the Maverick School new facility renovation. Projects at Central and Irwin schools will be completed in the last phase of school reorganization and grade reconfiguration in the city. There will be $3M for smaller preventative maintenance projects at schools throughout the Division. In addition, there will be approximately a $1 million draw on cash reserves to address capital purchases of computer hardware, as well as buses and vans for student transportation. The balance of the shortfall consists of non-cash, which is the restricted reserve to fund amortization.
“The $3.6 million operational funding increase is primarily to cover the teacher salary increase resulting from the recent change in the collective bargaining agreement. We have been able to absorb the near term shortfall without impacting our students, and anticipate achievement of our priorities and goals set out in our strategic plan,” said Randy Beler, Chinook Board Chair, “We are committed to our vision of maintaining Chinook School Division as a great place to go to school and go to work, so we are looking forward to future improvements in our province's finances to meet the needs of our students and their families.”
A balanced budget was achieved by the Board without having to take any drastic measures. Any staffing changes would be due to regular occurrences, such as student population shifts or natural staff attrition. Director of Education Liam Choo-Foo remains focused on programming and student needs. “Chinook has established a solid reputation for improvement of student learning, specifically in the areas of literacy and math. This budget allows us to continue to provide the resources that our dedicated staff need in order to support our students in their continued growth and development.” Choo-Foo explains, “Our priorities within our strategic plan will align with both the provincial and the school level efforts.”
The total School Division Operational Expenditures are approximately $91.67M. The revenues from grant taxes and other will be $88.96M, and the budget will be balanced using accumulated reserves.