Even though the province has not released any information regarding the funding for school divisions this year, the Hanover School Board has set a tentative date of February 6th to meet with the public and discuss a budget proposal for the upcoming school year. 

“We are still waiting for the provincial government to give us our funding announcement and indicate whether our funding formula will change or whether anything for taxation will change or whether we're status quo,” says Hanover School Superintendent Shelley Amos. “We'd really like to know more information prior to meeting with the public. We've set a tentative date of February 6th because we believe we'll have the information prior to that.” 

The provincial government usually makes the funding announcement each year in January, but last year was different in that the announcement was delayed to the end of February which resulted in the consultation meeting being pushed into March. 

Amos is optimistic that school divisions will get funding details this month. 

She encourages people to take the time to attend the public consultation meeting. 

“The budget has to be passed by the end of March and it's important for people to come out and that's the avenue to express your wishes for the budget in our school division, to ask us questions about the budget proposal or the current year's budget, to have us explain how this funding works for education in Manitoba.” 

Amos believes many people do not understand how the funding works or the budget process and really encourages community members, parents, grandparents and staff to attend the meeting and get some answers to their budget questions. 

“I would say the public is very well aware in this area of what our budget has looked like in the past couple of years and that's been a steady decline. We feel education has been underfunded in many ways and we're looking forward to our new government and the promises they're making for education in Manitoba.” 

“There's certainly others in our region who have budgetary restraints and struggles, just as we've been explaining to our public that we do as well. It is fairly common, especially in rural school divisions in Manitoba. You know, we're a bit unique in that we have growing enrollment. But with that and with the inability to provide any local taxation options for the school division, we're not keeping pace with inflation and with taxation and that's what's hitting the Hanover School division hard.” 

Amos says the changes in funding have prevented the division from keeping pace with what is needed for resources for students in Hanover schools for the past several years.