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Catholic board prepares for 2023-24 budget release

By Randy Thoms May 17, 2023 | 3:38 PM

The Northwest Catholic District School Board is expected to present its budget for the next school year in June.

Superintendent of Business Laura Mills says they are still going over the numbers and reviewing staffing and program needs.

Mills does anticipate the budget will include a deficit of one per cent.

“That’s the max that we can actually put in this year. The last two years with COVID, we could go up to two, but we’re back down to one,” says Mills.

Mills says trustees will also be presented with a plan to deal with the deficit, something required by the Ministry of Education when school boards present a deficit budget.

Next year’s budget is being based on student enrollment declining by 4 per cent.

Mills says it is because of a large number of grade eight students that will leave for high school this year and fewer students entering kindergarten next.

“This is actually a very natural decline as we start to see the bubble that we had a few years ago and start to leave the system and go into high school. However, our registration is still very fluid, especially with kindergarten, and we’re hoping to see that our numbers will increase before the start of the school year.”

Mills says the budget is also influenced by changes in government funding.

The board is expecting over $707,000 thousand for the areas of reading, math and special education.

There is also another $161,000 for summer programming.

Specific funding to deal with the COVID pandemic has been eliminated and replaced by a new grant called the Safe and Clean School Supplement.

“We’re going to receive almost $150,000 in that and how to best meet the needs of our system with that funding. They want us to spend it in priority order of repair professionals, educational assistants, and then custodians. So right now, we’re just looking at all of our needs and all the staffing to see how best to allocate that,” says Mills.

There is also a new transportation funding model, but not all of the details have been released by the province.



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