Red Deer Public Schools to add nine mental health practitioners

RDPS board of trustees approves 2018-19 budget

Red Deer Public Schools will tackle mental health in its 2018-19 budget.

The RDPS board of trustees recently approved the budget that will operate at a $557,621 deficit, with revenues of $122.8 million and expenses of $123.3 million.

The budget includes the hiring of nine full-time mental health practitioners and increasing the valuing mental health facilitator from part-time to full-time. This is a part of RDPS expanding its Valuing Mental Health strategy.

“Over the last year we’ve done some extensive community consultation about valuing mental health,” said Bev Manning, board chair. “People are very concerned about the mental health of our students. We’ve always tried to support them and encourage them to be healthy.”

Manning said there is no pressing timeline to fill the new positions.

“We want to make sure we get the right people in the right places. We’re excited about it and very encouraged.

“I think this is going to provide us some excellent opportunities in the future and we’re going to produce more all-rounded students at the end of the day,” said Manning.

Manning said the budget deficit is due to a lack of government funding for student transportation and student fees.

“There are a few areas where we’re stretched very tight. What would be most helpful for us would be if the government came through with the per pupil grant funding,” she said.

Student enrolment has increased at RDPS every year, but there has been no increase in per pupil funding from the province in the last five to seven years.

“This continues to hamper us when it comes to flexibility in how we spend out dollars,” said Manning. Per pupil funding “gives us the most flexibility in how to use that money so we can handle the hot spots as they arrive.”

There is a $257,261 deficit in the transportation budget. In order to mitigate this, RDPS continues to review transportation costs and bus routes. Manning said this is a provincewide issue.

Provincial infrastructure maintenance and renewal funding decreased for the 2018-19 school year from $3.3 million to $2.9 million – a $367,739 reduction.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

Nurse leads Canada over South Korea 82-63 at FIBA Women’s World Cup

TENERIFE, Spain — Kia Nurse poured in 29 points to lift Canada… Continue reading

Aretha Franklin exhibit debuts with eye toward her legacy

DETROIT — The Detroit museum that hosted Aretha Franklin’s public visitations after… Continue reading

‘Anaana’s Tent’ passes Inuit songs, legends, language to a new generation

In Pangnirtung, Nunavut, on the eastern tip of Baffin Island, Rita Claire… Continue reading

Housing data decision opens door to real estate innovation, say realtors

TORONTO — Realtor Daniel Steinfeld has wanted to post home sales data… Continue reading

Ty Long kicks winning field goal, Lions come back to beat Ticats in OT

VANCOUVER — Ty Long was eager for a special moment, and he… Continue reading

Indigenous eateries take centre stage in Canada thanks to increasing awareness

VANCOUVER — Since Paul Natrall started serving Indigenous cuisine from his Mr.… Continue reading

Canada’s capital region reeling after intense tornado rips through communities

OTTAWA — Parts of Canada’s national capital were still reeling Saturday after… Continue reading

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns… Continue reading

Most Read