Transportation and early learning programming changes due to budget shortfall

Transportation and early learning programming changes due to budget shortfall

At the April 4, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education, the following changes to Transportation and Early Learning programming were made as a result in shortfalls in operational funding announced in the 2017-18 Provincial Budget.

Programming for three and four year olds in non-Ministry designated pre-kindergarten programs will be phased out by 2018-19, with no new registrations accepted in 2017-18.

  • Existing non-funded programs to be phased out by the 2018-19 school year.
  • Programs impacted: Discovery and Communication Preschools and SCEP placements.
  • This will result in the operation of three programs in September 2017, a reduction from the 13 currently in place.
  • The provision of transportation services will be discontinued.
  • This will save an estimated $1.347 million in program and transportation costs.

Existing kindergarten programming changes.

  • Currently half day in duration, five days per week.
  • Will change to full school days on alternating days, based on a five-day calendar.
  • No change in instructional minutes and increased opportunity for larger blocks of uninterrupted instructional time for students.
  • All elementary schools will see this change.
  • This will impact approximately 1,900 students.
  • This will save an estimated $446,070 in transportation costs.

Regina Public Schools transportation services will be provided based on a Transportation Zone model.

  • Changes to the Ministry of Education Pre-K to Grade 12 Funding Distribution Model were implemented, reducing transportation funding recognition by $1.6 million.

    • Provincial funding is now based on a 1.0 km radius from schools .
    • Implementation of Transportation Zones better reflects Ministry of Education funding.
  • Only students living in Transportation Zones established outside of defined radius will be eligible for transportation.
  • This will impact an estimated 1,100 students.
  • This will save an estimated $1,350,000 in transportation costs.

These changes are because Regina Public Schools will see an operating funding decrease of 2.5% or $5.7 million from the current 2016-17 level.

At the same time as this funding decrease, the school division is also experiencing increased costs associated with a projected enrolment growth of 575 new students in September 2017 and the opening of three new joint-use schools. The combined impact of the funding reductions and increased costs is a $9.5 million shortfall.

“We have had to make some difficult decisions so that we can continue to focus our resources and our attention on students in classrooms and student achievement,” said Katherine Gagne, Chairperson, Regina Board of Education. “Much of the school division’s budget planning is still under way and not yet finalized, as the Administration tries to make up the $9.5 million shortfall.  However, there are some changes that will impact some school families that we feel need to be communicated as soon as possible to allow school families to prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.”

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