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Division presents preliminary operating budget for 2020/2021

Tuesday evening, the Division presented the preliminary operating budget for 2020/2021.
The budget shows revenues and allocations of $132.55 million, which represents an approximately $1.445 million decrease from 2019/2020. As a result of the 1.08-per-cent decrease in overall funding, just over $817,500 in reserves will be utilized next year.
The 2020/2021 funding is a result of the new Provincial Funding Framework, which had a significant impact to the Division, as the Division is now funded based on a Weighted Moving Average for student enrollment. 
Overall, the Division had a $2.29-million increase in operating revenues. However, in the prior year, the Division used $4.55 million of one-time reserves to minimize mid-year disruptions to classrooms, programs and services from the unexpected reduction in provincial grants (for example, Class-Size grant funding removed in Budget 2019).
Expenditures will also total $132.55 million, as the Division is expected to grow from 11,753 students this year to 12,019 students next year.
In terms of staffing, the Division’s teaching staff will face a reduction of 3.8 FTE positions, while support staff will be reduced by 40.9 FTE. Of those support-staff reductions, educational assistants will account for 30.9 FTE, which mostly relate to the funding reductions in the Program Unit Funding (PUF) for these Kindergarten supports. Maintaining reasonable class-sizes are a priority for the Division. Therefore, to minimize the reductions to teaching staff as much as possible, some one-time reserves will be used to assist in this transition.
Most of the reductions will impact the elementary school level, where enrollment is expected to decrease by 55 students, or 1.23 per cent. At the elementary level, there will be a decrease of 4.65 FTE teachers, or 1.79 per cent. Middle school and high school levels will both see slight increases in the number of FTE teaching positions, based on increased enrollment levels.
Administrative expenses will drop from $4.25 million in 2019/2020 to $4.1 million in 2020/2021 and results in a 3.8-per-cent reduction in administration. Administrative costs account for 3.09 per cent of next year’s budget, compared to 3.17 per cent this year.
Plant operations and maintenance funding will jump from just over $8.8 million in 2019/2020 to just under $10.3 million in 2020/2021 as a result of the increase in these targeted grants under the new Provincial Funding Framework. As a result, the Division is set to add caretaking maintenance positions, partly to assist in the opening of the new southeast elementary school, set to open in 2021/2022, and to address the need for increased personnel to meet maintenance requirements. There are also increased budgeted costs of building maintenance and property insurance for next year.
The transportation budget increased $92,518 for 2020/2021 as a result of increase in transportation grant funding.
Over 93 per cent of the funding for the Division comes from the provincial government, while the remaining seven per cent is comprised of school fees, school-generated funds, outside grants, investment revenues and one-time reserve funds.
Budget graphics from Tuesday's presentation can be found here, under the 2020-2021 Financial Information tab: BUDGET.
Feedback regarding the preliminary operating budget can be found here: FEEDBACK.
The Board of Trustees debated on Tuesday, May 26. 
View the video budget presentation below:

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