The Rocky View School Board (RVS) of Trustees established budget priorities for the 2020 and 2021 budget during the March 5 public meeting.
The established budget priorities were influenced by over 1,680 stakeholders who provided feedback in February through a public budget priority survey.
“Across all surveys, stakeholders asked that the board find cost savings outside of the classroom wherever possible to minimize the impact to class sizes and supports for students with complex needs,” said the RVS Board Chair Fiona Gilbert.
She added, “Our board’s priorities echo these wishes. Our first priority is always to support our students’ learning, but we have a challenge ahead to table a balanced budget.”
Through the survey it was determined the RVS Board will focus the allocation of dollars on student’s success through direct funding to classrooms, school-based supports for students with complex needs, wellness supports, and literacy and numeracy skill development.
The RVS Board is currently working on reviewing the Alberta Education’s new funding formula to understand the implications on the jurisdiction following the provincial budget being tabled in February, Gilbert said.
RVS is now expecting to receive under $238 million in operating grants in 2021, which is an increase of $2.8 million received in 2020. However, this will be confirmed by the government in April.
The RVS Board’s initial analysis reveals that the jurisdiction will be seeking significant cost savings and revenue generation to offset the $6 million one-time operational reserve funds used to balance RVS 2019 and 2020 budget, to educate approximately 857 new students, and address inflationary pressures, such as rising insurance and transportation costs.
From March 10 to March 30, RVS will administer a second budget survey that outlines cost-saving ideas and potential revenue sources.
The questions asked were shaped from the recent provincial budget, and from the feedback received from the previous survey.
“Results from this survey will be released, May 21, as our board prepares to deliberate and approve a balanced budget to the government by May 31,” said Gilbert. “
“We encourage our public to participate in helping shape the delivery of our services under this new funding model,” she said.
Please visit the RVS website at https://www.rockyview.ab.ca/2020-budget-consultation/, to find the second budget-balancing strategies survey and additional information of the results collected from the budget priority survey.