June 16, 2021 – For Immediate ReleaseHumboldt, SK
– Horizon School Division's Board of Education has passed a motion to submit its 2021-2022 school year budget for approval by the Ministry of Education. This budget distributes $96.6 M in revenue to support educational programs and services for approximately 6400 students across 43 schools, ensuring Horizon remains focused on supporting the needs of students, staff, and families.
The challenging budget sees a modest 1% increase in operating grant revenue for Horizon School Division. Provincial capital grant funding included an increase of $233,570 for preventative maintenance and renewal (PMR) and $9.764 M for the Lanigan elementary and high school consolidation project. Horizon's total PMR funding of $2.3 M will be used to directly enhance the condition of existing school facilities. Also appreciated is $922,394 in pandemic funding for mental health and sanitation supports for 2021-22.
New funding only met 44% of the new expenditures facing the Board, which includes costs from the teachers' collective bargaining agreement, carbon tax, and inflationary pressures. Balancing the challenges was the exciting announcement of the new Humboldt Early Learning Family Centre, to open in fall 2021, with $260,000 in new funding and expenses.
The overall budgetary surplus for the year to end August 31, 2022, will be $9.764 M – equal to the funding for the Lanigan capital project. Other budgetary adjustments included amortization ($3.5 M), planned capital investments ($1.3 M), loan/lease principal payments ($500,000), reserve contributions ($142,000), and the use of reserves for infrastructure projects funded in the previous fiscal year ($970,000).
"We continue to support the educational needs of all the students in our school division, and we are pleased to maintain the course set by our strategic plan, providing quality programs and services despite a challenging budget," said Jim Hack, Horizon Board of Education Chair.
"I thank our Board for its continued support of Horizon's Three Goals: Literacy & Numeracy, Safe & Caring Schools, and Graduation Rates," said Horizon School Division Director of Education, Kevin C. Garinger. "While the significant issues of the pandemic challenged many areas in our system, we are proud of how Horizon has been able to respond, and of the resilience our students and staff have shown. As we continue moving forward from the pandemic, this budget reflects a response to the mental health needs and other enhanced requirements we will meet in the years to come."
Horizon's budget is the result of extensive collaboration with each of its schools and service departments, seeking to continuously align initiatives with the strategic direction set by the Board of Education.
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