Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools using all reserve funds for budget crunch

WRPS Board Meeting Highlights November 12

Below is a summary of items of interest from the Nov. 12 meeting of the board of trustees of Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools.

Strategic Plan 2019-2021- Revision

The Board has adopted a new Strategic Plan for 2019-2021. This plan outlines strategic priorities, purposes, goals and objectives. Given a recent presentation made to trustees the Board approved the following addition. Strategic Priority 1: Student Achievement and Goal 1.3: Objective 1.3.3: Ensure teachers know how Indigenous students learn best and incorporate this knowledge into their instructional practice.

View the Strategic Plan: https://www.wrps11.ca/download/211036

WRPS Facing Budget Challenges

Last spring, Wetaskiwin Regional Public School Trustees made a budget plan for 2019-2020 that anticipated a drop in funding based on messages of caution from the provincial government. The Board did budget conservatively; however, it did not anticipate cuts of the magnitude announced.

While the per student grant was maintained other grants were eliminated. Enrollment in WRPS also declined by 50.5 FTE students resulting in a loss of funding. In addition, the Division is facing an unexpected change to insurance costs, as building premiums are increasing by 306 percent, which means an additional expenditure of $742,000.

The projected total deficit for 2019-2020 is $3,341,947. WRPS will use the entirety of its $1,500,000 accumulated reserves to cover a portion of the 2019 -2020 deficit. The remaining deficit will be covered by identifying and implementing efficiencies found throughout the division.

The Board will be considering all aspects of spending and will further review its 2019- 2020 budget line by line to identify efficiencies that will have the least impact on the classroom. A funding cut this large, however, cannot be managed without adjusting staffing levels.

WRPS has always been committed to providing the best possible education to our students we will continue to look at strategies to address the shortfall that will minimize the impact on the classroom.

-Submitted

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