The Superintendent for the Seine River School Division says it’s too early to know what yesterday’s public school funding announcement will mean for their division.
The province announced it will invest $1.3 billion in public schools for the 2018-2019 year, an increase of $6.6 million. One of the other announcements made was the province announced a 15 percent reduction in the existing administration cost caps. Mike Borgfjord says they have some concerns about changes to the admin cap noting they already below the cap. He adds they’re not quite sure what that means for them yet but says they weren’t surprised by the announcement.
"I think the initial reaction is we’re going to be looking at what we can do and what we can’t do and sit down with the board and figuring out how we can provide quality education with the dollars that we have access to. It’s nice to see that the special ed funding remains unchanged from last year, that’s a good thing. I think there are some challenges in there with the tax incentive grant reduction over the next six years but at least we have something to think about."
He says for the most part, the added complications to this year’s funding won’t stop them from doing any of their programming but adds it’s a bit too early to tell what these numbers will mean for them.
"It’ll be how we plan for the future and I think we’re going to have to make some tough choices and that will be some of the challenges but I think we really have to understand what the numbers mean for us. It’s a little more complex than past years, I mean the funding is always a little complex because the funding formula is actually quite complicated."
Borgfjord notes there will be challenges and tough decisions ahead with the Tax Incentive Grant (TIG) reduction over the next six years. He says the funding is a lot more complex this year and notes they'll have to sit down with the board to discuss what can be done to give their students the best possible education with the dollars they have access to.
"In most years we’ve always had to ask, ‘where are we getting value for what we’re spending?’ And whatever our number was at we’d have to make decisions on ‘what are we going to continue? What are we going to change? How are we going to do that? We are going to follow the same process. We’re definitely not going to be adding things in the coming years so I think it’ll be ‘what are we going to do within what we’re currently doing and are we going to be able to do the same things that we did last years and what will we be able to maintain?'"
Borgfjord adds it'll take them some time to go through and understand the conditions within the funding noting there aren't many surprises, nor are they too concerned.