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Our students' journeys don't end with graduation and neither does our responsibility to our students. That's why our School Board's budget for 2018-19 illustrates its commitment to setting our students of all abilities, from all walks of life, on a journey of lifelong growth, wellbeing and wellbecoming.
In LRSD, we are committed to fiscal and community responsibility. We're positioning our schools to better support an increasingly diverse and continuously growing student population while keeping the financial wellness of our community member's top of mind.
I am proud to say that the Board's budget was developed in consultation with community members, following LRSD's mission to nurture partnerships between home, school and community. The Board and community members, including parents and staff, connected through public meetings and online surveys, allowing them to guide investments in LRSD.
Our recently approved operating budget is $189.8-million and it has been designed to meet the needs of a projected 15,458 students. It marks a 3.16 percent spending increase over 2017-18. This expenditure increase results in a 1.96 percent increase to the Special Requirement, as per the Minister of Education's request to limit the increase to 2 percent.
We have also worked to ensure the budget continues to keep administration costs under 3 percent, in line with the minister's expectation.
The budget also dedicates funds to increasing non-instructional spaces not funded by the Province and required investment in the Division's aging infrastructure.
I'm proud to be serving a Board that is able to provide growing opportunities for a growing student population with diverse needs, while also demonstrating fiscal responsibility to taxpayers in our community.
I also want to acknowledge the tremendous team effort that goes into supporting the Board in constructing its budget and want to thank our Secretary Treasurer's Team, Brad Fulton, Marna Kenny and their colleagues for their leadership and expertise.
I look forward to seeing the many ways our investments in 2018-19 provide our students, teachers, staff and community members with opportunities to change worlds for the better.