Public School board facing deficit

A deficit of $224,941 will cause the Red Deer Public School District to dip into reserve funds to cover the shortfall during the 2009/2010 school year budget.

A deficit of $224,941 will cause the Red Deer Public School District to dip into reserve funds to cover the shortfall during the 2009/2010 school year budget.

The district’s revenues are around $96.8 million and expenses are around $97.1 million.

“Our grants this year essentially didn’t reflect the increase in costs,” said Bill Stuebing, chair of the Red Deer Public School District Board.

“Our basic instruction grant increased by the amount the government was contractually required to pay our teachers and that was quite helpful. Other grants the increase was between zero and three per cent, which in the present context was low.”

Of particular concern to Stuebing and school board trustees was the zero increase on grants for students with severe disabilities.

“We have more (students with severe disabilities) than we are funded for and that has been a perennial problem for us for as long as I can remember,” Stuebing said. “In this particular year however, not only do we maintain that gap between the levels of funding and the levels of service, but the funding has not increased to reflect increased cost, which puts a greater pressure on us because in effect you’ve increased the gap.”

The public school district receives funding for around 400 severely disabled students through the province, even though the district actually has 465 students who are severely disabled. The zero per cent increase means that although costs go up each year no new funding is being given by the province to cover those costs, even though the division is already experiencing a shortfall in provincial funding.

“These are real kids, with real needs. They’re probably the most vulnerable kids in our system. It’s very very distressing to contemplate that they’re the ones who are going to bear the brunt of the problems here,” Stuebing said.

Superintendent Don Falk said the number of teaching staff will remain the same, but the district will be down a couple of educational assistants next school year.

“What we have done is essentially combed through the budget very, very carefully to find every nickel and dime that we can so as to maintain the level of service. For the most part it is a status quo budget,” Falk said.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month