By Justin Seward
Prairie Rose Public Schools received their funding profile draft on March 31 and there will be not much change for the school division heading into the next year.
PRPS will receive an amount of $44 million in operation funding, which is the same as the 2020-2021 school year.
“The funding profile we received includes all of our revenues for the 2021-2022 school year,” said Ryan Boser, PRPS’ secretary treasurer.
“Like from an operating standpoint, it’s just over $44 million. That’s what our projected operational funding is for the 2021-2022 school year.”
Approximately 75 to 80 per cent of the funds go towards staffing and the remaining goes to bus contractors, utility costs, preventative maintenance, school resources and software programs.
“We were told right away when the budget was released back in February that school divisions would have either equal to last year’s funding or more than last year’s funding,” said Boser.
“And the fact that we projected our enrollment to stay steady in 2021-22 than it was in the 2020-21 school year, we were expecting our funding to be exactly what it was last year.”
PRPS received over $1 million in federal COVID funding for this current year and will not be a part of next year’s budgeted revenues.
“Obviously what came along with that extra funding were additional expenses,” he said.
“We supported an online program this year. We put additional cleaning supplies in our schools,(and) additional chrome books that we purchased with those dollars to support at-home learning this year because we knew that was going to be a part of the reality of the 2020-2021 school year and it was. Those are the types of things as we planned for 2021-22, even though our provincial budget looks the same as last year from a provincial funding perspective, we are going to see less dollars into our system because of those COVID funds not being there.”
The province reallocated $216,000 of operations and maintenance funding to specialized learning supports.
“They reduced the rates of how (the) operations and maintenance grants is funded,” he said.
“They reallocated those dollars into specialized learning support and even though those dollars will be utilized in that area well and supporting kids will special needs, it makes it more difficult for us to fund the facilities in our school division because ultimately more money was moved away from that grant.”
PRPS received a one-time COVID mitigation funding payment for next year for being under their enrollment projections for this year.
Now the funding profile has been received, those numbers will be prepared in a budget for PRPS’ board of trustees’ approval in May.