The most significant highlight of PSD’s 2012-13 preliminary budget is the Government of Alberta’s commitment of a three-year funding cycle for school boards. This three-year commitment will assist PSD in strategic planning and determining appropriate expenditure commitments.
“While we were encouraged by the Government of Alberta’s three-year funding commitment to school boards, and their small increase to base funding, our Board continues to be concerned with our expenditures outpacing revenues,” said Richard Gilchrist, Chair of PSD’s Board of Trustees. “As a Board, we are gratified, and encouraged, that the government has recognized our need to adequately fund services for a higher number of severe special needs students. The additional $2.2 million we received through the new inclusive education grant is a step in the right direction to address these needs.”
Other highlights from PSD’s 2012-13 preliminary budget include:
- Two new grants have been introduced for the 2012-2013 school year. The Equity of Opportunity Grant replaces the Budget Update and Classroom and Community Supports funding received in September 2011 and supports equitable access to education programs for students. In this area, PSD will see a $69,000 decrease.
- The new Inclusive Education Grant is the first step in implementing a new funding model that supports inclusive practice in schools that meets a broader suite of student needs. Parkland School Division will receive an additional $2.2M in 2012-13 to transition to this new model.
- Division staffing has the greatest impact on the educational opportunities provided to students within PSD and consequently makes up 72.1% of the division’s budget.
As a result of expenditure growth out pacing revenue, it has been necessary for PSD to utilize accumulated operating reserves to fill this funding gap. The division is expecting accumulated operating reserves of $3.8 million as of August 31, 2012. In the 2012-2013 budget, PSD anticipates $485 thousand of operating reserves will be used to provide additional funding to offset projected deficits.
For more information contact:
Director of Communications, Parkland School Division