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

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Ponoka mayor & council takes on province for recreation funding

Mayor Rick Bonnett wants school requisition for three years

Ponoka County on the hook for rubber tire shredder

Cost of large shredder may yet fall completely on county as problems arise

Ponoka council approved a cannabis retail sales bylaw

Along with retail sales, the cannabis consumption bylaw was approved

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Legalized marijuana sparks conversation on social stigmas

Ponoka area resident Mitchell Calkins enjoyed some cannabis on the first day of legalization

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Most Read