Red Deer Public Schools anticipates a $2.5-million budget deficit for the 2022-23 school year.
The division, which operates a $125-million budget annually, reported in its first quarter financial report that revenues and expenditures were currently in line with budget projections from the Spring 2022-2023 Budget that was approved by the board of trustees.
Highlights for the quarter ending Nov. 30, included updates on funding from Alberta Education.
Alberta Education will cover increased salary costs for the new Teachers’ Agreement which provided a 0.5 per cent salary increase upon ratification, a 1.25 per cent salary increase in September 2022 and a two per cent salary increase in September 2023.
Red Deer Public will also receive $107,803 in learning loss disruption funding to support students in Grades 2 to 4.
A total of 547 students were identified as needing the support and funding will provide between 12 and 16 weeks of targeted programming. School authorities have the flexibility to design the programming to best meet local needs.
The division has so far received $203,500 to provide language, social and educational supports to Ukrainian students.
Funding was allocated based on Ukrainian students who were enrolled and identified in September. A total of $5,500 per eligible student will be provided.
Additional funding will be available to support the continued intake of students from Ukraine throughout the school year. School jurisdictions will be eligible for 50 per cent of the grant for Ukrainian students entering the education system between October 2022 and March 1, 2023.
Red Deer Public will also receive $11,000 as part of the Alberta School Council Engagement Grant to provide each school council with $500 to improve communication and engagement with parents.
The grant allows Alberta Education to work directly with school councils to focus on education priorities while strengthening the capacity of schools to improve student learning and enhance students’ experience at school.
Red Deer Public will also receive $706,000 for a two-year Mental Health in Schools Pilot.
Pilot projects will explore new and innovative approaches to providing supports and services including counselling, social and emotional learning, student assessment and training for school staff.