Clearview board struggles with declining enrolment, increased costs, funding concerns

Reserves decreasing

After months of grappling over declining enrolment, increased costs and funding concerns, the Clearview School Division board approved its 2018-19 budget.

The projected in-year deficit for all budgets is $1,014,510. The 2017-18 final budget was $1,792,122.Services to students are impacted, Superintendent Peter Barron told the board in his report May 24.

“Reductions in services to students may include staffing, centralized support services such as inclusive education, and the ability to maintain transportation routes and school facilities.”

Since August 2010, the division’s reserves have decreased by $3.6 million, or 73 per cent. There was $4.9 million in reserves. In 2017 there’s only projected to be about $1.3 million left in reserves.

Clearview’s enrolment for September 2018 is projected to be consistent with 2,360 students. There were 2,341 in September 2017.

The student to staff ratio will be maintained at 11.6 students for each school-based staff. The student to teacher ratio will be 16.0, about the same as 15.9 in 2017.

The division held consultations with key stakeholders, including trustees, school councils, principals and senior leaders.

Based on provincial guidelines, Clearview could have spent up to $1.8 million on administration services and governance. For the 2017-18 year-end, however, the projected amount to be spent is only almost $1.5 million, a reduction of $360,094, which results in a direct benefit to learning success in Cleaview schools.

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