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Chinook school division says it's made $10M in cuts since 2015


The Chinook School Division has made over $10 million in cuts since 2015, according to a funding update letter and infographic sent to families and staff on Friday.

In the letter sent by Kim Pridmore, chair of the Chinook Board of Education, it stated that as the division was working through the 2023-2024 budget, it was clear they do not have the financial resources to support students as they have in previous years.

The division reductions include student services, senior administration, board governance, transportation, staffing, maintenance and facilities, technology, as well as curriculum and instruction.

“With that level of cuts, we cannot provide the same level of services and support for students as we did eight years ago. Any future reductions would continue to directly impact students and will not solve year after year of underfunding,” the letter stated.

In addition to the cuts since 2015, the division said they receive $683 less per student than in 2015-2016, and will use over $10 million from reserves to cover the annual deficit over the next three years.

The Chiinook division joins others in the province in publicizing the pressures they are facing as they plan their spending for the coming school year.

While Premier Scott Moe indicated more money could be on the way for schools, no specifics have been announced as divisions forge ahead with budgets that must be prepared well in advance of the next school year.

The letter from the Chinook division stated that by the end of the next school year, the division would have used 65 per cent of that amount to offset “insufficient funding.”

“We project our reserves will run out by the 2025-26 school year, so this will not be sustainable if we continue to be underfunded. Unfortunately, this could lead to even further reductions that would have an impact on every student, school and community.”

Despite an increase in students, the letter stated that Chinook is receiving five per cent less funding over the last seven years.

The Chinook division had 5,910 students enrolled in the 2015-2016 school year and received $85 million in educational funding, according to the letter. For the 2023-24 school year, the division is expected to have 5,964 students and have received $82 million.

The letter stated that as inflation averaged over two per cent per year, goods and services are about 20 per cent more expensive than they were in 2015, referencing the Government of Saskatchewan website. Top Stories

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