The Seine River School Board chairperson says she is pleased to see the provincial government has not reduced funding to schools for the 2023-24 school year.
Wendy Bloomfield says their administration team is still going through the funding details and gives us her first impression of the operational funding announcement that was made on Thursday.
“At first blush, it doesn't look like it's a windfall of any kind for us,” she says. “Our enrollment increase is up 5.2% and it looks like the increase we're getting from the province in 5.6% so in reality, our funding increase is just barely keeping pace with our enrollment increase.”
Bloomfield says it does not look like the additional money will be enough to cover higher costs for the division.
“The price of gas and well everything, supply chain things, fixing buses, all that sort of thing... we're kind of behind the 8 ball,” she says. “So, although the funding is going up, as I said, it's a little bit more than what our projected enrollment is increasing... but you know, the good thing is it's not a decrease.”
The Seine River School Division covers a large rural area, and Bloomfield says expenses have gone up significantly regarding transportation for students.
The Manitoba government announced on Thursday that it is increasing funding for kindergarten to Grade 12 schools by $100 million for the 2023-24 school year, representing an increase of 6.1 per cent in operating funding.