Catholic schools in Greater Saskatoon fear grants won’t keep up with rising costs

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HUMBOLDT, SASKATOON – The school division that operates St. Augustine and St. Dominic schools warns that provincial grants are not keeping pace with inflationary pressures.

The Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools School Board adopted its 2021-2022 budget at its regular meeting on June 28.

“Kindergarten to Grade 12 funding is increasing in Saskatchewan, but provincial grants are not keeping pace with the inflationary increases we’re seeing on the spending side,” Division President Diane Boyko said in a press release. .

The division is forecasting 955 more students next year, a 4.9% increase that would bring the division-wide number of students to 20,424, an increase of 4.9%.

At Humboldt, St. Augustine is expected to increase by five students to a total of 336 and St. Dominic is expected to increase by ten students to a total of 276.

There will be 15 additional teaching positions, six new full-time equivalents in student service positions and 17 additional teaching assistant positions. The Greater Saskatoon Catholic said priority will be given to staffing and funding enough classrooms to meet the growth in student numbers while maintaining class sizes.

In its statement, the division said it viewed its 2021-2022 operating budget as more predictable after dealing with the unpredictability of the pandemic, but added that its long-term fiscal stability was in question.

The division’s budget has $ 213 million in revenue, of which $ 152 million comes from government grants and $ 51 million from property taxes. Government grants in total have increased by 3.4 percent, but that includes capital funding to begin construction of the St. Frances Cree Bilingual School in Saskatoon. Operating grants increased by 1.36%.

On the expenditure side, $ 220 million will be spent, with significant spending including $ 165 million for training, $ 32 million for the operation and maintenance of buildings, $ 9 million for transport and 5 million dollars for administration.

Once non-monetary items like depreciation are removed, the division will draw $ 4.7 million from its reserves to balance the budget.

Greater Saskatoon Catholic said the 1.36 percent increase in operating grants covers increases in the teacher agreement contract negotiated by the province, it does not cover other growing costs, such as tariffs for services. public sector and wage increases for other job categories.

“We are grateful for provincial and federal funding to cover additional expenses related to the pandemic over the past year and through fall 2021,” Boyko said. “But it becomes difficult for school divisions to maintain – let alone increase – levels of service to students and families when only some increases are recognized and others not.”

© Copyright Humboldt review


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