Better savings lead to smaller deficit

Some good news came over the summer for Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS).

Some good news came over the summer for Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS).

Trustees received an update on the outcome of their finances from the 2015-2016 school year at their regular meeting Sept. 15, which showed a huge cut in the projected deficit outlined earlier this year.

A mild winter combined with lower than expected fuel prices and some other efficiencies saw WCPS spend about $1.3 million less, meaning the deficit would be slashed nearly in half. That also translated into administration requesting trustees to approve spending some of those savings on needs for the coming school year.

“These unanticipated savings allowed us to make some spending requests that were necessary to provide for students and address some priorities,” said superintendent Jayson Lovell.

Those requests, which were approved by trustees, included $304,000 for four teachers at schools where enrolments were higher than expected and necessary to lower class sizes; $414,000 for 10 full-time equivalent educational assistants; $58,000 for added educational assistant time for the Bright Futures Play Academy due to exceptional response to the new program; $35,000 to provide four schools with more social work full-time equivalent time to restore support levels due to identified needs and caseloads; and, $54,000 to pay for the three-year contract with a B.C.-based company that will assist WCPS with community engagement.

Lovell added a number of other requests were made by department heads and principals for items such as additional resources, furniture and equipment. However, he stated those were left off the table until the next meeting on Oct. 6, so trustees can consider the final budget figures along with the division’s final enrolment count in order to determine how much money will be available.

“Trustees also spoke of continuing to maintain the division’s operational reserves at its current $2 million, and having spent $866,000 of those unanticipated savings, they wanted to wait and see the full financial picture prior to making any more decisions,” he stated.

As of Sept. 9, WCPS has seen an overall reduction in their student numbers down about 80 from its projected attendance figures. Originally, WCPS had thought overall enrolment would be close to 7,520 students.

While some schools have seen an increase, the reductions have certainly been dramatic with Lovell explaining the Blackfalds area has been where the biggest drop was noticed.

“It’s not that the students are in another school, our information is that they have simply moved out of the area,” he said.

“It’s likely a reflection of the current state of the economy with families moving or migrating to where the jobs are.”


Just Posted

Woman steals truck from Ponoka gas station while being fueled

Ponoka RCMP pursued and located the woman in a tree after several other incidents

Snow flies at Ponoka Legion’s Flags of Remembrance ceremony

Despite the chilly weather, 128 Maple Leaf flags were raised at Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Ponoka senior Broncs take second win of season

The Broncs defeated the Wetaskiwin Sabres at home

Young Ponoka barrel racer one to watch

Janae McDougall won Lakeland and Wildrose Rodeo Association peewee barrel racing

Ron Orr to return for another run as MLA

Lacombe-Ponoka UCP contest won by incumbent MLA

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Robbery report at outlet mall turns out to be fake: police

Leduc RCMP respond to weapons complaint at premium outlet collection mall

Most Read