At a special board meeting on Wednesday, March 20th, the Seine River School Board approved a $69,310,771 budget for the 2024-2025 school year that includes a 6.38% tax increase and a reduction in staffing. 

The board and administration have been focused on creating a budget that meets the needs of students while reducing the division’s accumulated deficit which is forecast to reach approximately $5.8 M by the end of the current school year. 

This budget represents the first of a three-year approach to eliminating that deficit. 

Of the total operating budget, 79% of it will be allocated to staffing, including a professional staffing complement of 335 full-time equivalent (FTE), reports the school division, noting, “This is a reduction from 2023-2024, but we will still prioritize small class sizes and equitably distribute staffing resources across the Division.” 

Resources were redirected from the Superintendent’s budget to schools to maintain the school’s budget. The division adds, “School principals will also be afforded additional flexibility in budgeting and decision making in the coming year.” 

As they worked to cut costs, the board and administration focused reductions on operation and out of scope programming wherever possible, “To ensure continued high-quality classroom experiences for Seine River students.” 

A key feature of this year’s budget is the increase in local taxation. 

Homeowners within the Division will see a tax increase of 6.38%, which translates into an approximate tax increase of $120.36 for a home valued at $350,000. 

The division is also letting the public know that for the 2025-2026 budget year, homeowners can expect an approximate tax increase of 7.6%, which translates to a $153.06 increase on homes of similar value. 

“Although it’s an extremely difficult budget year, the Board remains committed to ensuring the highest quality of education for the students of Seine River School Division and to ensuring a positive and collaborative work environment where our employees are respected and valued,” says Board Chair Wendy Bloomfield.