Board passes difficult budget

At last night’s board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the proposed budget for 2011-12 which plans for $851 million in expenditures, including the planned use of $18.9 million in reserves.

Although the staffing numbers will be finalized in the fall of 2011 based on actual enrolment, the administration outlined that there could be a reduction of up to 345 positions, including 229 teaching positions.

The Board acknowledged its role in responding to the shortfall in funding by approving a Trustee motion to reduce Board spending in the areas of professional development and Board initiatives by 6.2 per cent, matching the percentage decrease in overall spending in central departments.

“This is the most challenging budget the District has faced in many years and we will continue to advocate with other school boards to ensure sustainable, predictable funding for education,” says Board Chair Dave Colburn.

Other highlights from the meeting included:

  • Approval of eight recommendations from the Board’s Special Needs Task Force which will help advance the District’s work in ensuring an inclusive environment for all students and;
  • Report from the anti-bullying advisory committee, which recommends a multi-year approach to ensure changes in language, understanding and behaviour to help prevent bullying in schools.

Further information about these agenda items is posted on the Board of Trustees’ section of Edmonton Public Schools’ website.