WCPS receives $900,000 funding boost

Extra funding financial shot in the arm for cash-deprived school division

The cuts across Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) will not be as deep as originally anticipated thanks to an unexpected infusion of funds from the provincial government.

Superintendent of WCPS Jayson Lovell said news has been received from the minister of education that an additional $904,000 will be allocated to the division.

“That’s a nice chunk of change,” he said. “And we certainly didn’t expect it. It is a real game changer.”

While the funding does not come close to helping WCPS balance its budget — seeing a $2.6 million deficit — the money does alleviate the need to make significant reductions to teachers, social workers and counsellors.

READ: Funding no longer viable at current levels

READ: Over $2.6 million in cuts at WCPS

A decision as to allocate the funding has not yet been determined, but all Wolf Creek teachers and administration have been asked to provide input.

Lorrie Jess, WCPS board of trustees chairperson said the money was granted through the Classroom Improvement Fund and wasn’t expected to be available. “This year when we were deliberating budget, the money wasn’t there,” said Jess.

Discussions are being held May 8 with the ATA local and the school board to determine the priorities for the money.

The issue for WCPS, says Jess, is having to deal with an old financial model for inclusive learning. ”We want our special needs profile looked at because it hasn’t been looked at in 12 years.”

In an effort to provide quality care for students with diverse needs WCPS spent $35 million in six years, however, that’s going to change. Jess says she has received numerous calls and emails of concern because of planned cuts to inclusive learning services.

She added that typically WCPS doubles the inclusive learning amount — $6 million from Alberta Education — to meet the needs of students.

A goal to meet with the province is yet to occur but Jess points out that WCPS takes the inclusive learning mandate from Alberta Education seriously. Of the 7,400 students within the division, 12 per cent are students with diverse needs.

Those numbers are up from previous years, said Jess. From the 2014-15 school year to the 2017-18 WCPS saw a 27 per cent increase of Level 3 students (generally those with emotional or behavioural needs). For the same time period, Level 4 students (generally those with physical needs) saw an increase of 46 per cent.

In order to balance the 2018/19 $86.73 million budget, WCPS trustees originally needed to come up with ways to reduce spending by $2.6 million.

Just Posted

PHOTO: Eyes turn to heavens to witness super blood wolf moon

These two photos show the lunar eclipse about 30 minutes apart from each other.

Ponoka Stampeders zero for two against Stettler Lightning

Stamps prepare for Sunday home game against the Cochrane Generals

Ponoka cowboy Vernon (Bud) Butterfield passes away

The Ponoka Stampede Association announced his passing Friday

Ponoka’s ag event centre busy with show jumping event

Equine show jumpers came to the Calnash Ag Event Centre for a show jumping event

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Most Read