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School division delays decision on busing

A decision on changing busing for Red Deer Public School District kindergarten and elementary students has been postponed until the Dec. 12 board meeting.

The Red Deer Public board of trustees is looking at changing busing because it’s trying to reduce the district’s deficit, now pegged at $1.2 million.

Administration is suggesting double routing of buses, where a bus would be used to take students to one school that would open earlier and then use the same bus to take students to another school in the same area that opens later.

“There are some budget pressures the board is facing,” said district superintendent Piet Langstraat on Monday.

One of the pressures involves salaries.

The board recently negotiated a contract with its Canadian Union of Public Employees staff, essentially the caretakers and maintenance workers.

It’s now in discussions with the Alberta Teachers’ Association, which is the largest contract involving salaries.

“We’re also facing a $1.8-million reduction in revenues,” said Langstraat. “Alberta Education provides funding for inclusive education and through a new formula that may be reduced by $1.8 million.”

Last week, the board also gave initial approval to a new medical treatment of students policy.

Langstraat said this was more of a housekeeping matter. There was already a policy concerning medical treatment of students, plus another on anaphylaxis.

Rather than developing yet another policy, Langstraat suggested an overarching policy. As part of this new policy, procedures will be developed for the care of students with diabetes.

“I just want to define it more clearly for our staff,” said Langstraat.



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