In the aftermath of the resignation of Clearview trustee Staci Gerlitz, the board has decided against a by-election to fill her position at their regular board meeting on Thursday, June 16.
The motion to do so was proposed by trustee Dave Goodwin.
“Following the resignation of trustee Staci Gerlitz last month, the board of trustees have discussed whether to hold a by-election in 2016, or to wait until the general local government elections in 2017, but after careful consideration it was determined the best option will be to wait until the general election in October 2017,” said Peter Neale, associate superintendent.
Trustees at the meeting discussed that by-elections tend to have less interest and engagement by the communities, particularly where the general election would be so soon.
“The costs of a by-election, including direct costs to hold the election and staff time will be used instead to focus on the board’s strategic plan and student success,” said Neale. “Trustee Gerlitz’s duties in engaging our communities and her committee work will be shared among the other six trustees until the general election.”
According to board chair Cheri Neitz, the board has had a good discussion on whether they would hold a by-election this coming fall or wait till the following election year cycle.
“The board chose to follow and were in accordance with the School Act, Section 251, so the election will go forward as planned by the Government in October 2017,” said Cheri Neitz. “Trustees Goodwin, Cassidy, Neitz and Schofer’s wards cover all the students who live in the Stettler Elementary and Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus school catchment areas, so the schools will continue to be well represented by all trustees of the Clearview Public Schools Division.”
Clearview preliminary spring budget 2016-2017 approved
The preliminary spring budget for 2016-2017 presented by associate superintendent Peter Neale was approved by the board of trustees.
The projected budget, which will see a $721,000 deficit will be supported through a drawdown in reserves.
Enrolments will be stable for next year at 2,335 students, and schools will see an increase of four teaching staff.
School budget reserves are expected to decrease by a net of $358,102 or 27.1 per cent to $963,735 (2015-16: $226,676 or 18.6 per cent to $993,191), according to projected estimates.
Based on the revised projections, allocations per student for schools will be on average $8,127, or a 0.8 per cent increase, representing an increase to schools from $8,062 during 2015-16.
“The students to teacher ratio provides a metric to determine how well schools are maintaining school supports for learning,” said Neale. “The lower the ratio, the more teachers and staff are available to support learning, therefore in comparing to years 2015-16, the students to teacher ratio saw a betterment from 16.3 students per teacher to 15.8.”
Further for the 2016-17 school year, the board of trustees supported a reduction in transportation fees charged to schools, allowing for a 50 per cent fee reduction in the school use of buses, fuel and bus drivers.
This has provided a reduction in transportation services budget by $75,000 to $100,000, and provides a direct and immediate benefit back to schools and parents for 2016-17.
“The budget process begins for Clearview Public Schools in January and represents many consultations with staff, leadership, parents and the board,” added Neale. “Our focus continues to be how to provide the most to the classroom with the best overall supports available for teachers and this budget ensures our students continue to have the best education in our communities by providing more dollars to schools and more division learning supports.”