The board of the Peace Wapiti School Division has approved a budget for the upcoming school year that includes a $432,000 deficit.
Superintendent Sheldon Rowe says that is because of the start-up cost associated with the planned January opening of the new Whispering Ridge School (pictured).
“Whenever you get a new school, you do get some money from the provincial government for furniture and equipment and things like that. But, it doesn’t necessarily cover all your costs. There’s additional custodial costs, there’s additional staff costs, as well as there’s additional supply costs, phys.ed. costs, balls, those sorts of things.”
Rowe says the Division still has an on-going deficit in it’s transportation budget, one that is covered by taking money from elsewhere.
“We end up taking the $400,000 for that out of our regular instructional budget. So, somewhere along the line, we reduce services to kids because we can’t get enough funding for transportation.”
This does not mean any jobs are cut, but does mean Peace Wapiti can’t hire as many staff as it would like.
“The on-going deficit in transportation has taken money out of instruction and maybe reduced a program that we wanted to offer or reduced an opportunity that we had in instruction.”
The budget will now to the Minister of Education for final approval.
(photo from the Peace Wapiti School Division Facebook page)