Prairie Valley School Division approves balanced budget, 36 staff reductions

Prairie Valley Schools Division (PVSD) has approved their balanced budget for the upcoming school year, including 36.4 positions that will be reduced.

PVSD has 39 schools located in 32 southeast Saskatchewan communities.

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Director of Education Luc Lerminiaux said no one will lose their job, something the board is grateful for.

“The cuts were absorbed through attrition, which means retirements, some (staff) moved on to other vacant roles. There are leaves that happened, some cho0se a different career, some move to neighbouring school divisions,” Lerminiaux explained.

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“It does mean that now we have to manage the school division with 36 fewer people and try to deliver high quality education, because that’s ultimately what we’re designed to do.”

Full-time school-based teachers are forecast to decrease by 13.79 to 534.10. There will also be a reduction of 10.8 full-time roles at the board office and 11.8 school support staff roles.

Currently, enrolment projections are forecasted at just over 8,500 students — a decrease of 203 students from this year’s school period.

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Lerminiaux said enrolment projections were challenging this year and last due to some students opting for remote or home-based learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pupil-to-teacher ratio for the upcoming school year is estimated at 15.34. This past school year’s ratio was 15.38.

Money for preventative maintenance and renewal was increased to $2.46 million, which the division said will go towards “much-needed building improvements.”

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Funding will be funneled into curriculum resource renewal, a phased in refresh of classroom sound systems and furniture as well as bus and fleet vehicle renewal.

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The division’s budget is balanced on a cash basis with an operating deficit of $4 million. This is due to amortization of capital assets.

The Saskatchewan government allocated $2.66 billion to the education ministry in Budget 2021, an increase of 2.3 per cent from the previous budget.

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