Clearview School division set to finalize budget

Clearview’s school board is closing in on finalizing their budget for the 2018/19 school year.
Trustees agreed to adopt most of the draft budget considerations as presented by Associate Superintendent Peter Neale at their April 19 meeting.
The division has been engaged in budget conversations with division leaders, school leaders and trustees since February with the clearly stated goals of maintaining a predictable funding allocation structure and ensuring the budget and financial framework reflects a long-term, stable learning environment focused on the strategic goals of Clearview Public Schools.
Beginning with the board’s governance budget, trustees reviewed planned spending for board administration including professional services, telephone, advertising, supplies and equipment, travel subsistence, professional dues and fees, and the trustee remuneration and benefits package.
Clearview trustees have maintained their governance budget at $180,000 since 2015/16.
Anticipating no significant changes in their governance work plan, the board approved a motion to keep the governance budget at the same level for 2018/19.
Moving forward, trustees discussed the ramifications of the Alberta Government’s 2018 budget.
Neale’s report on the government announcement revealed that, in general, most funding levels will not change.
Transportation services may increase $90,000 while the Carbon Tax Levy will continue and probably increase.
The Student Wellness Initiative ($13,500) may not be funded for 2018/19, therefore, the board will need to consider budgeting for this expenditure using reserve planning.
Nutrition funding will increase by $25,000 to $166,000.
Division enrollments are expected to remain consistent, and Clearview’s increase in allocations to schools based on enrollment is estimated at $179,000; $61,800 from base enrollment, $32,650 from class size and $79,000 from small school by necessity.
Salary and benefits are also expected to remain consistent with staffing estimates for 2018/19 to include an average teacher cost increase of $200 to $101,000, no change for educational assistants ($31.50 per hour) or school administrative assistants ($38.25 per hour) and a decrease of $0.75 per hour ($33.25 per hour) for learning commons assistants.
Considerations for a $200,000 allocation for the development of educational partnerships to improve high school student success and $160,000 for full-day kindergarten support in Stettler were discussed at length without the board reaching a consensus.
Trustees agreed to proceed with the budget considerations as presented for the 2018/19 projected spring budget with the exception of the educational partnerships, full-day kindergarten support and application of the $100,000 instructional supplement to support services.
A further board workshop was scheduled for April 24 to discuss these issues.
The budget will be finalized before the government’s May 31 deadline.

Band program receives donation
Superintendent Peter Barron reported a $2,000 donation from Real Country 93.3 Radio to the Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus’ band program.
A much appreciated shot in the arm; the donation will go to support the purchase of instruments and expand the music library.
Real Country 93.3 has been a generous, ongoing supporter of the musical education of Central Alberta students
Funds come from contributions to Canadian Content Development (CCD) made by broadcasters to initiatives that aid in the development and promotion of Canadian musical and spoken word content for broadcast.

 

Linda Stillinger
ECA Review

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