2019 Budget Update: An Open Letter to Black Gold Families
Black Gold Families,
You have, no doubt, been wondering how Black Gold School Division will be reacting to the Government’s October budget announcement. Earlier this year, central administration began to prepare for what we were told to expect would be a “budget of austerity”. Those steps included reducing: custodial hours; facilities and technology staff; professional development (PD) allocations for all teaching staff, school support staff, Division office staff and Board members; and moving funds from central administration to the instruction budget.
Even with those preemptive expenditure reductions, after the Government’s October budget, we were left with $3.71 million less in funding than what was projected in the Division’s 2019-20 spring budget. School staffing was finalized based on the spring budget assumptions. Additionally, our student population increased by 400 students this year and is expected to continue to increase in the years to come.
This week, the Board of Trustees met and decided that, for the current school year, we would meet the Division’s budgetary obligations, as much as possible, through additional expenditure reductions and efficiencies. The remaining budget deficit would be supported through using Board reserves.
I want to assure you that the Black Gold School Division is committed to keeping front line teachers and support staff for the remainder of the 2019 – 2020 school year.
Additionally, the Board of Trustees made a commitment to our parents NOT to increase school or transportation fees mid-year.
Deficit budgeting is not sustainable in the long run. It is evident that we will need to adjust the way that we carry out our mission. We will continue to look for efficiencies throughout the Division and keep you apprised of developments as they happen.
Black Gold School Division has always been committed to providing the best educational experience for your children. Despite the challenges we are facing, our students continue to be our top priority.
Thank you to all of our Black Gold family for your support of our teachers and school staff.
Superintendent of Schools