A balanced budget has been approved by the Grande Prairie Public School Board. The $97 million budget was spared some cuts by the province’s recent change in government.
Superintendent Carol Ann McDonald says $1.4 million ended up being added to the budget this year which will make a big difference particularly when it comes to staffing.
“With that increase we were able to add back some teaching positions and educational assistant positions for this upcoming year. As well we have saved some of the money for contingency so that we will be able to add positions quickly in the new year.”
Other programs that will see improvements include Late Entry French Immersion, International Baccalaureate, and music.
“We’re doing a complete look at our music program and looking at a three year plan for that program. We have such success with our music program and we want to make sure that we’re doing it right to engage all students.”
While some budget items were saved, four full time instructional coaching positions in the district have been cut and McDonald says belts are being tightened in every single one of their departments in order to save teaching jobs.
The district is also drew $700,000 from reserves to balance the budget. $600,000 of that will go towards the cost of operations at Charles Spencer High School and the other $100,000 to Grande Prairie Christian School.