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Catholic schools board awaits finer details of provincial budget

Officials with the Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools board may be waiting for some of the minute detail, but overall, the mood over the 2021 provincial budget is a positive one.

Despite the $8.24 billion representing a decrease from 2020-2021, the funding model will remain unchanged for at least two years. Board Chair Michael Ouelette says the budget provides some financial stability, suggesting he was worried that the per-student funding model touted by the provincial government would come to fruition.

“We are happy with the budget with the way it is right now, saying they aren’t going to penalize us for low enrolment, ” he says.

“Because the school has to run, we still have the same amount of staff, and our costs don’t go down… so we need the stable funding, which I think they’re giving us.”

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Ouelette says major question marks remain over exactly how much the school district and other municipal school boards are actually going to receive. He says they’ve had a rolling budget document for over six months, and some blanks still need to be filled.

“We just want stable funding for our kids… we want to find out what’s going on,” he says.

“We set our budget since September, but we will take a look and see where the funding is coming from, what we are getting, and how we are going to deal with that.”

Ouelette says when that information does come, members of the board will receive a detailed report on what the division can expect going forward.

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