Public school trustees passed the Good Spirit School Division’s $75 million 2013/2014 budget at their regular board meeting at the end of June.
“The Government of Saskatchewan’s Vision 2020 played an important part in budgeting for the coming year,” stated Dwayne Reeve, Director of Education. “With key targets as part of the Saskatchewan Growth Plan including reducing the difference in graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students by 50 per cent by 2020 as well as leading the country in Grade 12 graduation rates by 2020, we need to make key investments now to make these goals a reality. We have worked towards ensuring enhanced business processes in this budget and, as with all else, our motto of “Students Come First” was front and centre numerous times when it came to making the hard decisions of how and where to allocate funds.”
Budget highlights include: continued investment in literacy with expansion of resources available beyond the primary levels; appointment of a First Nations/Metis achievement coordinator; additional permanent teaching staff, as well as, a commitment to permanent positions in student counseling, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists to handle projected increased enrolment of approximately 86 students; hiring a human resource coordinator; funding for comprehensive school community health pilot projects; funding for year one of a two-year intranet communications solution;
preventative maintenance and renewal funding allocated by the Ministry of Education
to address facilities needs; purchase of 10 buses as well as continuation of placement of GPS units and cameras in all buses; and investment in building updates to various bus garages.
“Transparency plays a key role in discussions and included numerous meetings with both senior administration, as well as, board members before determining the finalized budget,” said Sherry Todosichuk, superintendent of business administration. “Administration has taken the board directive that the budget include a defined focus on realigning resources so that areas such as staffing, supports for learning, and health and safety are targeted to ensure dollars meet identified needs.”