Wolf Creek Public Schools; board of trustees has approved a budget that includes a $1.38 million deficit, but says that amount will fully be covered by operating reserves.
During the regular board meeting on May 18, the board unanimously approved the 2023-2024 division budget.
In a release, board chair Luci Henry said the approval of the budget highlights the board’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of students and staff while maintaining a balanced approach to financial management.
“Our primary focus is always on the well-being of our students and staff,” she said. “We are pleased to have achieved a balanced budget while ensuring a balanced approach to address their needs.”
The board’s 2023-24 budget priorities were established far in advance of budget deliberations
These priorities include: ensuring the well being of students and staff, achieving a balanced budget, maintaining classroom teachers and inclusive educational assistants at the highest level the budget can accommodate, ensuring the Division Assurance Plan remains at the forefront in budget, and seeking a balanced emphasis on professional development.
The board also allocated additional education assistant and teaching position FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) to bolster support in the classroom.
“We are pleased to be able to offer some additional support in the classroom. Although we would always like to do more, we are cognizant of rising operational costs, insurance increases and inflation that almost entirely absorb any additional funding we receive from Alberta Education,” said Henry.
WCPS says the budget also demonstrates the board’s commitment to helping high school students achieve success in their diploma writing. Funds have been allocated to the Rock the Diploma program to ensure it continues and remains effective.
The budget also allotted funds towards the implementation of the new Alberta curriculum and the enhancement to the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit student success department, including the addition of a director position in that department.
Additionally, the budget incorporates funds for the establishment of the Iron Ridge Secondary Campus, a new Grades 9 to 12 high school set to open its doors in September 2024 in Blackfalds.
Public school divisions operate on funding almost entirely provided by Alberta Education, based on per student enrollment and calculated through a weighted moving average tied to enrollment.
Following board approval, the budget is submitted to Alberta Education for ministerial approval.