The Northern Lights Public School Division has given the OK to its 2020-2021 budget. The board approved the plan last week during their regular meeting.
In a letter made available to parents, the school board says the $82 million plan will be spent primarily on instruction with maintenance, transportation and administration also getting a cut.
The board also announced it is withdrawing from the Alberta School Boards’ Insurance Exchange and instead of joining the Alberta Risk Managed Insurance Consortia. They expect that to move to save approximately $1.7 million compared to what they had budgeted for 2020-2021. Approximately $1 million of that will be used to retain staff that otherwise would have been cut due to funding restraints.
The board also says that Kindergarten instruction will change. The board says it has only received funding to run a part-time program. Teaching will be provided by a teacher half time and by an educational assistant for the other half of the time.
“We realize that some of the changes that are occurring next year will be upsetting for you, for our students, and for our staff. I want you to know that it was not easy for us to make these decisions. We want all of our students to have the best educational experiences we can provide and we want all of them to succeed to the best of their abilities. Anytime we consider making changes to programs or services, we strive to ensure that the decisions we make are the best ones for our students.” says Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk.