Busing services, kindergarten schedules and preschool programs are being altered as a result of funding changes to Regina Public Schools.
In a special meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the school board looked at what programming needed to change in order to cover a $2.5 million reduction in funding coming out of the recent provincial budget.
With increased enrolment of 575 students predicted for this September, three new joint schools opening and the implementation of a new funding distribution model, the division maintains its costs are rising – it leaves a shortfall of $9.5 million.
This information was obtained by 980 CJME through an email sent to division staff from director Greg Enion Tuesday night.
It states that, in order to find savings, a number of “difficult decisions” are being made.
Kindergarten classes will go from half-days to full-days offered on alternating days – that impacts 1,900 students. The email said this will save an estimated $446,070 in transportation costs.
Transportation zones will change, meaning 1,100 kids will no longer having busing services – this is expected to save $1.35 M.
Two preschool programs for special needs children not designated by the Ministry of Education will be phased out by the 2018-19 school year.
All the changes together equate to about $3 million in savings.
“We have had to make some difficult decisions so that we can continue to focus our resources and our attention on students in classrooms and student achievement,” said Katherine Gagne, chairperson of the Regina Board of Education, in an email.
“Much of the school division’s budget planning is still underway and not yet finalized, as the administration tries to make up the $9.5 million shortfall. However, there are some changes that will impact some school families that we feel need to be communicated as soon as possible to allow school families to prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.”
The school division is holding a news conference Wednesday morning.