The proposed spring budget for the 2020/21 school year was approved at Clearview’s regular meeting May 27, that was live-streamed on Facebook, in the amount of $35.5 with a planned deficit of $1.2 million which will be covered by drawing down reserves.
Since the new funding formula is no longer based on actual student enrollment, this spring budget, when approved by the government, is the final budget.
Associate Superintendent Neale indicated there will still be a need for a fall budget update for internal use to adjust for actual staffing and firm up today’s uncertainties around insurance premiums and Covid-19 costs.
The government allocated $1.3 million to Clearview under their Accelerated Capital Maintenance and Renewal Funding program—a program being used to stimulate job growth during the Covid-19 crisis.
School boards will spend this money between now and August.
Projects will include roof repairs, air handling units, upgrading interior lighting to LED and a replacement of the backup generator at the Stettler complex.
Two different contractors will be used—one to handle schools in the County of Stettler and one for those in Paintearth.
It is unknown whether this funding will affect next year’s Infrastructure Maintenance Renewal (IMR) funding.
Normally, a $500,000 contingency is built into the annual budget to handle the unexpected, but this year, the board increased that amount to $750,000.
With Covid-19 and the safe re-opening of schools, extra costs will be incurred including additional custodians, more bus routes and increased PPE purchases.
The previous $100 fee for full-day Kindergarten was waived to ensure parents have access to their program of choice without having to consider financial challenges.
Coronation outreach program
After consultation and receiving two responses, the Board approved the move of the Coronation Outreach program into the Coronation School starting Sept. 1, 2020.
For the board’s information, Trustee Scott updated the situation that has unfolded around the cancelled Cosmetology trip to Montreal due to Covid-19.
All parents who purchased cancellation insurance will get full refunds.
What happens to fundraised dollars is more problematic.
Students at the offset were told the money they fundraised would go to pay for their trip and any leftovers would be their spending money.
A few parents are now asking that that money be returned to them personally and have threatened to sue.
Parents have been advised the money raised from community members specifically to support learning and education cannot go to families as a financial benefit.
Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus, Principal Baharally, has been consulting with the families to come up with a consensus on how to spend the fundraised money next school year.
Ideas under consideration are fee waivers, other trips, scholarships, or enhancements to the cosmetology program.
The administrative policy will need to be revised to better clarify legal requirements around the use of fundraised dollars when, as in this case, an uncontrollable event causes a cancellation.
Lights for football field
Trustee Guy Neitz and Jodi McCord from InterPipeline presented a proposal on behalf of the Shared-Used Recreational Fields Committee (SURF) for football field lighting.
The Board approved a $90,000 expenditure for the Football Field Lights Project.
The dollars were fundraised through SURF, a committee of representatives from the Town of Stettler, County of Stettler and Clearview Public Schools.
Vice Chair Neitz is heading the committee at present.