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Buffalo Trail board pleased with education funding overhaul

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The Buffalo Trail Public School Division Board is optimistic about the province’s new education funding model.

The model will be changing from one-year enrolment counts to a three-year average and will go into effect on September 1, 2020. Each school’s per-student funding is calculated through a  20-30-50 formula.

Twenty per cent will be based on the past year’s enrolment, 30 per cent on the estimated enrolment for the current year and 50 per cent for the projected enrolment for the upcoming year.

Board Chair for BTPSD Lanie Parr says trustees have been asking for a more predictable funding and the new model seems to be the answer to the request.

“We’re experiencing a slow decline in enrollment and as far as that goes it should be okay for our board. It will be more predictable and that is one thing we think is valuable is having more predictable stable funding.”

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Parr says it also makes budgeting easier as they will know the numbers in the spring and can prepare for the new school year. Under the current model, school divisions aren’t able to set a budget until they conduct a student enrolment count at the end of September.

The new model will also be cutting down on the number of categories for grants. The government will be basing the funding on 15 categories as opposed to the current 36. Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says it will reduce red tape and create more efficiency in the system.

Parr says they have been given some information on the changes but some things still need to be cleared up.

“They’ve given us areas where the grants will be changed and there will be some efficiencies coming from that. There will be reduced administration and some less reporting.”

Parr says they won’t know the full extent on how it will impact the division until the provincial budget is released on February 27.

“It’s hard to predict what the impact will be without seeing the actual numbers,” says Parr. “To know the overall impact we’ll have to wait for the numbers.”

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