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LRSD Approves a Balanced 2021-2022 Budget but at a Significant Cost

March 17, 2021

At a special meeting on Tuesday, March 9, the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) Board of Trustees approved the $199,440,033 operating budget for the 2021-2022 school year.

"Preparing this year's budget has been a substantial challenge, especially considering the ongoing and significant pandemic expenses that are helping staff and students stay safe in schools," said Louise Johnston, LRSD Board of Trustees Chair. "We are hopeful the Manitoba government will provide additional financial assistance to cover our projected $2.4 million pandemic expenditure shortfall, otherwise, we will have to look to depleting our entire accumulated surplus."

In February, the Manitoba government announced that the LRSD will receive an increase of 1 per cent or $837,681 in 2021-22 school division funding. The provincial government has also asked all school boards in Manitoba to freeze property taxes levies at 2020 level. This means on an average home in LRSD valued at $345,000, it will result in a property tax decrease of 0.33% or about $6.68. While the 2021-2022 operating budget is balanced, it did come at a significant cost.

"When we coupled the ongoing pandemic expenses and the binding $8 million interest arbitration award announced in April to the Louis Riel Teachers' Association, the only way to cover those costs was to use every dollar in our accumulated surplus," said Marna Kenny, LRSD Secretary-Treasurer. "Doing so has left LRSD in a precarious financial position. We're left with no reserves to cover a bus breakdown, a boiler replacement or any other unforeseen expense."

In previous years, LRSD was able to look to the non-operationalized International Student Program revenue to help support certain financial objectives, including summer learning opportunities, nutrition programs and other equity-based programming. With international travel at a standstill and a precipitous drop in international student enrollment, that is no longer an option.

"The LRSD Senior Leadership Team and Board have had extensive deliberations about our budget and have exhausted every option in trying to find a solution to the financial pressures we now face," said Christian Michalik. "The conclusion is that we can't do it alone. We need government support to help rebuild our accumulated surplus or risk a future combination of significant staff reductions, increased class sizes, and cancelation of all school renovations that are not funded by the province."

See a snapshot of LRSD's budget.  

LRSD Budget Infographic.jpg

 
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ico twitter

RT @laliberte_mb: Ce mardi, c'est Fanny qui vous présente 3 articles que vous pouvez retrouver dans votre Liberté! À la semaine prochaine pour de nouvelles actualités.👏🏻 https://t.co/Hh7atcclwv

ico twitter

Tomorrow is International Day of Pink! Staff and students in the Louis Riel School Division are encouraged to show their support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community by wearing pink. Don't forget to tag us in your #DayOfPink pics 📸 #YourLRSD Learn more👉https://t.co/8N2V8OiCh0 https://t.co/bepgGqzg8Q

ico twitter

Timon Kozelko, an Educational Assistant at École Sage Creek School and an LRSD alumnus, organized several activities to build community and understanding during Autism Awareness Month. Read all about it: https://t.co/faSHAH0zpL #YourLRSD @TimonLRSD @SageCreekLRSD https://t.co/z7F6Pzn9gv

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