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MVSD passes 2021-22 budget


Mountain View School Division trustees officially passed the 2021-22 operating budget at their regular meeting, Mar. 22.
“The decisions required to prepare and finalize the 2021-22 operating budget are made more difficult as a succession of difficult budgets, with greater limitations on available funding, impact how we can address what our staff and our families are saying our schools need,” board chair Floyd Martens said.
Martens added the foundation statements for MVSD focus on the learner, the learning environment and on being a centre of educational excellence. He added it is critical to assign available resources and make the decisions which prioritize the focus areas.
With the majority of available resources prescribed at the time of the provincial funding announcement, the division worked hard to make tough decisions on where resources best serve learners, Martens said. The decisions have not been easy, he said, as any flexibility that existed in previous budgets has already been significantly reduced.
“We are confident in our budget decisions as they prioritize the needs of the learner and the classroom,” Martens added.
Highlights of the budget include:
• an overall budget increase of $727,557 or 1.7 per cent;
• a total budget expenditure of $43,801,043;
• an increase in provincial funding from the 2020-21 budget of $751,092 or 2.8 per cent;
• municipal revenue changes offset by Property Tax Offset funding; and
• revenue from all other sources decreased $23,535 or 0.15 per cent.
As far as the impact on local taxation, property assessments across the division increased 0.7 per cent on average. The Special Levy remains unchanged and the mill rate was reduced .11 mills to 14.62 mills.
Budget focus areas
• $909,300 in increased expenditures allocated to staffing;
• one full-time equivalent teacher reduced from holdback, not from current staffing;
• maintaining all other front-line staffing levels; and
• $181,742 in reduced expenditures for non-salary related budgets including technology, international student program and interest expense. Some increases were required with fuel and utility costs that are included in the overall expenditure reduction.
MVSD was able to achieve a status quo budget resulting in no significant change to programs and services.
Additionally, all school divisions were directed to comply with administrative cost expectations and MVSD remains five per cent below the administrative cap identified for the division.
Martens said feedback on the budget decisions is welcome and questions or comments can be directed to himself or the division’s senior administration.

Staff Writer