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ESD budget reports declining enrolment

 Twyla Siple


Board of Trustees (Clockwise from left): Vice Chair Sandra Davies, Robert Arnason, Cheryl Zelenitsky, Scott Hill, Assistant Superintendent Roza Gray, Superintendent Brent Johnson, Jim Mosher, Gladys Kohler, Board Chair Ruth Ann Furgala, Dianna Auer, Penny Helgason. Not picutred board members:  Charlie Grieve, Secretary-Treasurer; Brooklyn Toderan, Evergreen Student Council Rep  Brooklyn Toderan.

Board of Trustees (Clockwise from left): Vice Chair Sandra Davies, Robert Arnason, Cheryl Zelenitsky, Scott Hill, Assistant Superintendent Roza Gray, Superintendent Brent Johnson, Jim Mosher, Gladys Kohler, Board Chair Ruth Ann Furgala, Dianna Auer, Penny Helgason. Not picutred board members: Charlie Grieve, Secretary-Treasurer; Brooklyn Toderan, Evergreen Student Council Rep Brooklyn Toderan.

The projected budget for the Evergreen School Division for 2018-2019 includes a reduction of a 0.8 full-time teaching staff as well as minor changes in support staff allocations due to declining enrolments and divisional administration costs, which were reduced by 15% this fiscal school year. ESD’s annual budget report meeting was held at their head office in Gimli, March 7. 
 
Total enrolment as of Sept. 30 stood at 1,422, which represents a decline of 33 from the previous year and enrolment is expected to decrease further in 2018-2019 to 1,403. Student enrolment has steadily declined since the 2009-2010 school year peaked at 1,671.

Challenges
The challenges the school division is currently facing revolve around declining enrolment, which make it difficult to maintain programs and services, according to the report. With increasing demands on public education for student needs in areas such as physical and mental health, and technology, this is their second consecutive year with a 2% reduction in base Provincial Grants, the report said. The Division will continue to receive the Tax Incentive Grant, however it is being phased out during the next six years.
 
Budget Highlights
ESD’s 2018-2019 Draft budget rose by 0.79% from $20,211,070 during the previous school year to $21,378,277. The school division, which encompasses Arborg, Gimli, Riverton and Winnipeg Beach, has announced that Provincial Support is projected to represent 59.57% of total revenue, down from 60.33% and Municipal revenue is projected to represent 39.23% of funding, up from 38.39% in the previous year. Provincial funding for 2018-19 was at 98% of the actual funding for 2017-18. 
 
This year’s annual draft budget indicates revenue will come from Provincial Government Program Support, reduced from last year’s amount of $8,122,535 to this year’s amount of $7,970,043, a reduction of -1.89%. Provincial Government Other Support increased by 1.92% from $4,674,780 to $4,764,379 and the Municipal Government’s amount increased by 2.99% from $8,143,755 to $8,386,855. The amount from other school divisions decreased by 1.82% from $55,000 to $54,000 and First Nations held at $145,000 with no difference from the previous year. Other Sources of revenue decreased by 17.14% from $70,000 to $58,000. The Portioned Assessment increased 3.88% in Evergreen School Division from $960,759,990 in 2017 to $998,075,250 in 2018.
 
The Special Requirement now represents 39.23% of their Total Revenue.
 
The Special Levy for 2018 has increased by 4.26%, set at $10,963,269, a mill rate of 10.984, which is an increase of .040 mills or 0.37% as compared to the provincial mill rate of 13.8 in 2017. So, for example, property taxation amounts would increase to $3.60 on a $200,000 home. 
 
The projected budget’s expenditures have increased support for Regular Instruction by 1.07% from $11,050,786 to $11,169,202 and Student Services by 1.51% from $3,550,650 to $3,604,385. Community Education rose 2.58% from $76,500 to $78,470 and Divisional Administration declined by 8.03% from $863,300 to $793,985. Pupil Support Services rose 2.76% from $674,800 to $693,440 and Transportation rose 3.96% from $1,583,250 to $1,645,930. Operations & Maintenance decreased by 4.55% from $2,679,250 to $2,557,365 and Fiscal decreased by 0.62% from $325,000 to $323,000. Capital Transfers rose by 25.76% from $385,934 to $512,500.
 
In total, support services represents 25.5% of the proposed budget and instructional services at 74.5%.

Maintaining Variety
According to the report, the 2018-19 budget allows the Division to maintain the rich variety of programming and services currently provided to students and also includes support for important initiatives being pursued by the Division. 
 
Staffing will reflect changes based on equity allocations, increasing support based on student need. 
 
Increased Divisional support for student services will help offset changes to their provincial funding and teacher time in each school will be dedicated to interventions, extra help for kindergarten to Grade 8 students and credit attainment/recovery at high schools. Funding for a Mature Student Graduation diploma program and additional support for Kindergarten classes Education Assistants. 
 
They are also planning to make an additional transfer to the school bus reserve fund.
 
The Division will maintain Kindergarten programming for three full days per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Junior Kindergarten programming half-days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
 
Equity Grants will be provided to schools to reduce fees for students and families, a Math Facilitator will support instruction and student learning and allocations at high schools for industrial arts/home economics for grade 7 and 8 students were accounted for.
 
Full details of the budget as well as a School Tax Estimator is available at www.esd.mb.ca under Board/Finance.


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