The River East Transcona School Division approved its 2020-21 budget on Tuesday, but the chair of the board of trustees says it meets the government’s needs, but not the students.
The school division, which is the second largest in the province, said its $199.3 million budget meets all the directives set out by the province, which prevented it from expanding programs and services.
“Between the tax limits imposed and caps on administration costs available to manage the second largest school division in the province, the board does everything within their power to lessen the effect on students in the classroom,” said Colleen Carswell, chair of the board, in a news release.
Rod Giesbrecht, chair of the board’s finance committee, said many schools in the division are at or nearing capacity and that funding is not keeping up with the division’s growth.
“Nevertheless, we continue to maintain a high level of educational programming, while having the lowest per pupil spending in the city—something of which we’re proud,” he said.
The division’s per pupil spending is $11,788, and the provincial average is $13, 284.
SCHOOL TAXES GOING DOWN
As part of the latest budget, school taxes will go down .89 per cent, which means about $15 less on the average home in the area valued at $286,800.
The division receives nearly half (49.1 per cent) of its revenue from the province, with the rest coming from the property tax credit, the local property tax base and other revenue sources. Salaries and benefits comprise of 87 per cent of its total budget.