Border Land School Division's annual public consultation meeting had a different look this year. Typically the Board of Trustees will outline a proposed budget for the coming school year, however, Superintendent Krista Curry says that wasn't the case Wednesday evening in Dominion City.
"Often in our past consultation meetings, we've generated some slides and showcased a little bit about what we've done and then talked (about) finances a lot. This year we know that there's significant concern from people about taxes and division budgets and (if) they're going up, (if) they're going down and what (we're) spending the dollars on."
Curry adds the Division had some preliminary budget numbers drawn up but then the Public Schools Funding Announcement came down from the provincial government and indicated a two percent overall decrease in funding to Border Land School Division. "And so we've been meeting as senior admin and with the Board and looking at where can we cut and how can we decrease our budget from last year to this year and what does that mean for us?"
She notes some of these cuts will be noticed within local schools and some will be behind-the-scenes and says there's still lots left on the table and officials have to do a final sorting of what stays and what goes. Curry says some decisions have already been made.
"Two-and-a-half teachers are being cut for sure, we've changed our cyclical (technology) refresh from four years to five years (and) we're looking at school budgets. We know some things are definite and it's just a matter of what else?"
In order to help the board sort out what's important to parents and ratepayers within Border Land School Division, participants at Wednesday's meeting were asked three questions - What programs are a priority? Is there a need that should be met? and What suggestions might they have in putting together the budget?