Light of Christ Catholic School Division will see an increase in provincial funding for the new school year in the province’s newly released budget.
Chief Financial Officer Jordan Kist confirmed the school division will be collecting about $70,000 more in grant funding for the 2018-2019 school year, compared to last year, in part due to increased enrolment.
He said the division is up about 0.3 per cent in funding compared to last year.
“We do anticipate more students in September 2018, compared to September 2017. That also can contribute to an increase in funding,” Kist said.
The division is anticipating about 10 more full-time equivalency students for enrolment in September.
In 2017, enrolment numbers were 2,032, compared to 2,044 projected for 2018 for the same period.
Kist mentioned projected numbers can fluctuate however after the start of school.
“If we come in below that then mid-year they will lower our funding a little bit,” he said. “If we come in above what they think we have in September they will likely increase it.”
He added there are other various factors that affect funding.
“We did see a slight increase in a number of the different functional categories of the budget,” he added. “We’ll take the next few weeks to figure out what types of implications the budget will have on our staffing and programming next year.”
Kist said about 80 per cent of the division’s budget is spent on staffing costs. There are also other expenses each year to consider as well.
“Year to year, even though we’ve seen a $70,000 increase in funding, our cost of living factors go up – whether that be utility costs or built-in salary increases into support staff agreements,” he said. “There are year-over-year cost of living increases we see.”
The division expects to approve its budget around the end of June.
Kist said in the last two years the division saw decreases in funding in the provincial budget, so it was welcome news to experience an increase for the new school year.
“It’s nice to see some of that funding partially restored,” he said. “We’re thankful to see that.”
He said last year across the province there was a $54 million operational cut in education funding overall in Saskatchewan, while this year there was a $30 million increase, which was a good sign.
“This year too we were quite pleased to have a pretty good idea ... of what we might see on budget day,” Kist added.
He said the division also appreciated Premier Scott Moe keeping his promise from the leadership campaign to restore some funding to education.
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