The provincial government announced Thursday there will be more money coming to school divisions throughout the province after a number of issues were raised about the funding provided in the budget released in March.
There is another $40 million earmarked for the 27 school divisions. Twenty of that $40 million is dedicated to classroom size and complexity. This is to be used by the school divisions for the hiring of resources such as teachers, educational assistants, speech-language pathologists, counsellors, education psychologists and other supports. The amount of funding is based off of work done by the Class Size and Composition Committee.
The other $20 million is for school divisions to address enrolment growth beyond what was originally projected by the school divisions. The money is being made available for the 2023-24 school year.
"This additional $40 million in funding will help address a rapidly growing student population as well as ensuring that our teachers have the supports they need to support an increasingly complex classroom," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "This 4.5 percent increase in school operating when compared to last year is part of the government's commitment to ensuring students all across the province have access to high-quality education."
Here in the southeast, the two school divisions are receiving a total of $1,008,558. This is broken down as $158,928 for the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division and $849,630 for the South East Cornerstone Public School Division.
The funding for the HFRCSSD is an increase of 1.2 percent from what was originally included in the provincial budget and is 0.3 percent higher than what was received in 2022-23. Of the nearly $159 thousand are $96,528 for class size and composition and another $62,400 for enrolment growth. The news comes just a week after the division announced they were drawing over $800,000 from reserves just so they would be able to balance their budget.
The SECPSD will be getting a 0.9 percent increase from what was included in the budget, and 2.2 percent more than what was provided for the division in 2022-23. The breakdown is $817,830 for class size and composition and another $31,800 for enrolment growth.
The Prairie South School Division, which includes Rouleau, Avonlea, Bengough and Coronch is receiving $981,123 in total. This includes $705,363 for class size and composition and $275,760 for enrolment growth. The Prairie Valley School Division, which includes Milestone, Montmartre and Kipling, is receiving $1,619494 in increases. This has $964,654 set aside for class size and composition and $654,480 for enrolment growth.
The provincial government had budgeted $2.08 billion for education in the 2023-24 budget, which was the most ever set aside for school divisions. However, many had called for an even larger increase with the province projecting a surplus in excess of $1 billion, and the funding increase for operational expenses being below the rate of inflation.