By Derrick Kunz, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
Stable but unpredictable is how the financial outlook for the 2020-21 fiscal year was described during debate and discussion of the 2020-21 operating budget for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS).
GSCS Board of Education unanimously passed the balanced operating and capital budget of $206.71 million that administration presented at their regular meeting on June 22, 2020.
“Funding for pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Saskatchewan has stabilized, and increases to cover enrolment growth and inflation are appreciated,” said Board of Education Chair Diane Boyko.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, she added, “We all have this cloud of unpredictability hanging over us that makes it incredibly hard to plan. We know there will more expenses as we adapt to the realities of physical distancing, increased cleaning and sanitizing, and physical protective measures.”
The division projects enrolment growth of 674 more students (3.4 per cent). That, and inflationary costs for things like utilities and negotiated salary increases for staff, will consume the increase in operating budget.
On the capital side, design and planning funding will be provided by the government for a new St. Frances Cree Bilingual School. Boyko said, “Years of work by a multitude of people dedicated to culturally responsive education is paying off. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are thankful for all of the preparation work done to this point so we can get shovels in the ground faster.”
The school division’s fiscal year runs from September 1 to August 31 each year.
A detailed look at the budget can be found on our website at https://go.gscs.ca/budget.
2020-21 Operating and Capital Budget “By the Numbers”:
- $186.91 million operating grant from the Government of Saskatchewan
- $206.71 million operating and capital budget
- $7.12 million operating grant increase (3.96%)
- 674 more students expected (3.4%)
- 44 FTE new teachers
- 14 FTE new educational assistants
- $1.3 million for detailed design of a new St. Frances Cree Bilingual School
- $100,000 to determine future needs of high school in Saskatoon
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