Catholic school division responds to funding cut

By Angela Brown
March 24, 2017 - 12:00pm Updated: March 24, 2017 - 12:31pm

North Battleford area's Catholic school division will be reviewing its plans ahead following the province's announcement of a 1.2 per cent operating funding cut across school divisions in Saskatchewan.

Local school division Light of Christ's chief financial officer Jordan Kist pointed out the division still needs to ascertain how it will be impacted, and planning has already begun.

He said Light of Christ Catholic School is actually receiving a decrease of 5.4 per cent on the school division operating year. The province's figures for the 1.2 per cent decrease relate to the provincial budget-year period instead. 

"Regarding the specifics about what does the actual number cut mean for our school division, we won't know until until we continue to work though this for the next couple of weeks," Kist said. 

"We'll align our division priorities with the funding model to ensure that we have a sustainable operation here and we can respond to challenging times like this," he added.

Kist said education remains a priority for the school division.

"We haven’t identified any specific areas where we are looking at yet, but everything has to be on the table. We have to look at everything. Have we ruled out anything? No. Like always, we take pride in what we spend on instruction in our budget and will continue to ensure that that remains our priority," he said.

While the budget announcement hasn't been promising, Kist said the school division is pleased with other news this week from Saskatchewan Education Governance Review that school divisions will continue to have elected board trustees and there willl be no changes to the structure of school division boundaries in the province. 

He echoed Saskatchewan Education Governance Review views that "local elected boards are extremely important to Saskatchewan residents and are best suited to respond to local needs."

Overall, Kist believes the province does have the right method to take things slowly in balancing the budget.

"We are also very pleased to see that the challenge arising from the difficult fiscal times will be met by a multi-year budgeting effort. The government realizes the importance of the work we do in our schools, and to balance the budget in a single year would not be fair to our students or staff," he said. 

Another local school division, Living Sky, had similar concerns as Light of Christ Catholic Schools about the funding cuts in the budget, but met the governance review with support as well. 

Living Sky is considered a public school division, although it also has one Catholic school and two associate schools, known as Christian academies, also in its division.


[email protected]

Battleford braces for additional costs; hopes revenue sharing will help

Join the Discussion

We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.