Board approves PRSD's 2016-2017 budget
For immediate release
June 21,2016 - During the regular board meeting held today, the Peace River School Division (PRSD) board of trustees approved the 2016-2017 budget. The division’s total budget is $46,791,619.00.
PRSD’s 2016-2017 budget funds basic education as well as programs and initiatives such as mentorship and leadership programs, Inclusive Education initiatives, technology integration, wellness initiatives and employee contract obligations. Operational dollars provide safe and caring learning environments through physical upgrades, maintenance on schools and safe transportation for students. In order to continue to fund such programs and maintain operations, PRSD will withdraw $2,235,159.00 from reserves leaving a projected reserve balance of $4,818,027.00 at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
Earlier this year, the Alberta Government announced that educational funding levels will be maintained as per the 2015-2016 educational budget with the exception of an increase to the Infrastructure, Maintenance and Renewal funds grant. For PRSD, this means an increase of approximately $400,000.00 that will go toward physical maintenance and upgrades at PRSD schools and buildings.
Board Chair Darren Kuester shares the board’s appreciation for the government’s decision to maintain funding levels and mentions that although the board is thankful for the maintained funding, school divisions with declining enrolment remain presented with financial challenges.
“Alberta school boards are funded by the government based on student enrolment which has a significant impact in remote areas like ours where families are getting smaller and the geographical population is changing” says Kuester. “Using our reserves is a short term solution as continued withdrawal from reserves will cause them to eventually deplete. The board remains committed to explore operational efficiencies moving forward.”
The PRSD budget is based on an estimate of student enrolment for the 2016-2017 school year. The Alberta Government provides funding based on the actual enrolment as of September 30 of every year.
The Board of Trustees thanks management, administrators, school and departmental staff and School Councils for their assistance in developing the 2016-2017 budget.