The Portage la Prairie School Division (PLPSD) will see a slight decrease in provincial funding in its next fiscal year.
PLPSD recently completed estimates of provincial funding for the 2017-18 fiscal year and expects funding from the province will drop 0.5%, relative to the 2016-17 budget of $38.6-million. The new fiscal year for PLPSD starts July 1, 2017.
According to the PLPSD release, the overall provincial support for Manitoba school divisions has increased by 1% and is distributed to 37 school divisions using the current funding formula.
“The change of funding is primarily due to a decrease in equalization support,” the release explains. “Increased assessment values on agricultural land in our region is the basis for the equalization support. As assessment values increase, the equalization support payments from the province decrease.”
PLPSD's Board of Trustees is currently in budget deliberations and will be presenting the 2017-18 budget at a public meeting next week. It's not yet clear what impact the provincial funding cut will have on services, programming and infrastructure investment.
“Obviously the cost of delivering our program has not gone down,” PLPSD superintendent Todd Cuddington says. “So that will be a challenge for our trustees to look at.”
The public budget meeting takes place at the PCI East building Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. The 2017-18 budget must be finalized by March 15, 2017.