After extensive discussion and in-depth examination of both numbers and allocation processes, the Battle River School Division Board of Trustees passed the first budget of their term on May 12, for the 2022-2023 school year.
The budget was developed based on projected enrollment numbers for the coming school year, the funding formulas and grant allocations provided by Alberta Education and the Board’s commitment to ensuring that the priority for spending would be on keeping school-based staff in place for students.
Based on enrollment projections and the government’s Weighted Moving Average formula, there is a reduction of $112,432 next year. However, the provincial grant announcement also included a 1% increase in grants for ECS, Grades 1 to 9, and the Grade 10 to 12 basic instruction amounts; a 1% increase to Operations and Maintenance grants; and a 4.6% increase in the Transportation grant.
The budget that was approved includes an approximately 1.75% increase for non-union staff of the school division.
The Board has stated their intention to advocate for additional funding for budget categories such as Operations and Maintenance, as a result of significant increases in utility rates, insurance and the cost of materials.
In recent years, since the Government of Alberta changed its school funding model in 2020, BRSD has been fortunate to receive “bridge funding” that is intended to reduce the impact of reductions created by using the new model. The original intent was that this $7,980,000 allocation would be gradually reduced. While that reduction has not yet happened, it has been clearly communicated that there is no commitment to the amount of bridge funding (if any) that the school division might receive in future years.
The loss of $7,980,000 would have a significant negative impact on the school division. The BRSD Board will continue to advocate for adequate funding for the instruction of students.
As part of the budget process, the Board also approved a number of fees, including:
- Transportation fees for ineligible students;,
- Transportation fee for cross-boundary transportation;
- Kilometre rate for field trips;
- Technology Fee;
- Summer School fee;
At the May 12 meeting the BRSD Board of Trustees also approved the appointment of MNP, LLP as external auditors for the period September 2021 to August 2026.
Information based on the BRSD Board of Trustees Meeting of May 12, 2022