Black Gold School Division facing serious financial adversity
With the current economic state of our province, like so many Albertans, Black Gold School Division is facing serious financial adversity.
Heading into this school year, Black Gold School Division made some fiscally conservative choices in order to prepare for what we were assuming would be a budget of austerity. This included reducing Division Office staff, technology support and facilities positions. These cuts resulted in expanded portfolios for remaining centralized staff. School staff are being asked to do the same work with less support.
Through prudent decision making in previous years, the Board of Trustees has some capacity to address the shortfall using board reserves. Despite being fiscally responsible and intentional with its finances over the previous years, these preemptive strategies alone, will not be solution enough to overcome the financial reality the Division is facing.
Notwithstanding the government’s June announcement that it would fund enrolment growth, our School Board will have less funding than it did a year ago. The Division is projecting a reduction in instructional funding of approximately $5 million. Although the government is providing $2.3 million in transition funding for this school year to help offset the loss, there will still be a significant shortfall in funding this year.
The Board of Trustees will be making some difficult decisions in the coming weeks to address this year’s shortfall at the upcoming Board Fall Planning Session this month. The goal of the Trustees will be to provide strategies that will have the least amount of impact on our students and staffing levels. All efficiencies and options will be considered.
Further updates can be expected in the coming weeks.
As always Black Gold School Division is committed to providing a safe and caring environment and the best quality educational opportunities for your children.