Division News Article

Board approves balanced budget for 2020-2021

May 29th, 2020

At their May 27th meeting, the board approved a balanced budget for the 2020-2021 school year with budgeted revenues and expenses of $58.9 million. The budget was prepared on the principle of ensuring fairness and equity across the division. It also assumes that students will return to normal school in the fall with minimal impact on operations, and no impact on funding from COVID-19.

Budget highlights

  • Funding reductions of $1.6M for Program Unit Funding (PUF) and Regional Collaborative Services Delivery contributed to staff reductions:
    • 4.6% reduction in certificated staff
    • 14.7% reduction in support staff
  • Alberta Education has provided additional funding of just over $1 million, to be applied directly to the following areas:
    • School Nutrition
    • Infrastructure and Maintenance and Renewal (IMR)
    • Transportation
    • Targeted grants for Operations and Maintenance and System Administration

By the end of August 2021, the division’s operating reserves are expected to be $2.23 million (3.78% of operating expenses).

The board also approved a balanced budget for the Alberta Distance Learning Centre. Alberta Education verbally committed to provide funding of $14 million for 2020-2021—a reduction of $1.24 million from 2019-2020. The funding reduction resulted in the elimination of resource maintenance and course development.

Rates Annex Changes

The board approved changes to Rates Annex 1 – Student Fees, including:

  • an increase to Adult Fees at Vista Virtual from $130 to $135 per credit
  • the addition of an International Student Fee of $200 per credit
  • the addition of a Non-Primary Student Fee of $130 per credit

Rates for internal and external bus rentals on Rates Annex 3 were also increased after an analysis was done on the actual costs realized in 2018-2019.

Insurance Provider

After insurance premiums skyrocketed in the fall of 2019, the board voted to leave the Alberta School Board Insurance Exchange (ASBIE) and join Genesis Reciprocal Insurance Exchange. By changing insurance providers, insurance premiums are estimated to be approximately $412,500 in 2020-2021.

See the board meeting agenda and minutes for more information.

The next school board meeting is at the Regional Office on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 starting at 9:00 a.m. Members of the public are invited to view the meeting via livestream at: https://www.pembinahills.ca/board-meeting-live-stream/