The Prairie Spirit School Division is holding the line on school taxes this year. Trustees have approved a $25.9 million budget, which is a 1.5 per cent increase over the year previous. The school board will accept a a $900,000 Tax Incentive Grant from the province which will allow for a zero per cent increase in school taxes. Superintendent Don Hurton says unfortunately they could not avoid making some staffing cuts to their operations.
The staffing cuts represent a $390,000 dollar cut in spending. Prairie Spirit has a student body of about 2,100 students. Hurton says they expect to lose about 50 students for next year. Based on projections, enrolment in Prairie School Division is expected to drop by about 30 per cent between 2010 to 2020. Hurton says in an effort to deal with those dwindling numbers the board is exploring other ways of delivering programming.
$18.7 million dollars of next year's budget is earmarked for instructional programs while 6.7 million will be used for support services. The division retains a surplus of about $171,000 dollars.