HPSD 2019 Budget Update

HPSD 2019 Budget Update
Posted on 11/21/2019
HPSD 2019 Budget UpdateFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

High Prairie, Alberta – High Prairie School Division, along with other school authorities in the province, was required to look carefully at the way in which we do business. At a special budget meeting on November 20, 2019, the HPSD Board of Trustees, along with members of Executive Council, made a strategic plan for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year with respect to the recently released Alberta budget.

High Prairie School Division is pleased to announce that the financial decisions made as a result of Budget 2019 will not have an immediate effect on our classroom personnel. Our division, along with other school authorities, was warned that there could be changes to our funding, including the grants we receive. In anticipation of these changes, our division worked to find efficiencies prior to Budget 2019’s release to ensure we were not relying on dollars that may not be available to us. We planned our 2019-20 school year budget without the dollars from the Classroom Improvement Fund, Class Size Initiative, and School Fee Reduction grants which were no longer included in Budget 2019.

These funding changes, together with significant increases to our insurance premiums (over $550,000 ), realized an approximate $1 million shortfall that we needed to address. As we were anticipating a large percentage of these changes, efficiencies were found and instituted prior to Budget 2019. To resolve the remainder of the shortfall, HPSD was able to continue providing its educational services by changing the methods of operation. Some of the changes include more meetings being virtual as opposed to in-person, not renewing projects reaching the end of their term, and taking advantage of employee attrition for those positions that are not school-based. The Board of Trustees and the Executive Council noted that student wellness, career training, and Indigenous success are very important and were protected in this budget. We were also able to protect all school-based teachers and support staff.

High Prairie School Division is taking this opportunity to do things differently. Our primary focus is student success. While this budget has required us to make difficult choices, we made them while honouring the intent of Budget 2019 which was to “...minimize impacts on front-line staff and teachers, and to prioritize the educational experience of our students”. We are making every effort to find further efficiencies that maximize our budget while ensuring students at High Prairie School Division continue to receive an excellent public education.

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