Louis Riel School Division Protects and Bolsters Core Investments with 2022-2023 Budget
Winnipeg, MB - At a special meeting on Tuesday, March 8, the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) Board of Trustees approved a $209,308,165 budget for the 2022-2023 school year. View a snapshot of the budget.
"While building this budget, we were inspired by our Multi-Year Strategic Plan and lessons learned from the pandemic to protect and bolster core investments," said Louise Johnston, Board of Trustees Chair. "Our focus aligned closely with what we heard from our community, including maintaining or reducing class size and continuing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion while also navigating a number of cost pressures."
The budget includes additional classroom staff, representing a total of 572 full-time equivalent (FTE) educational assistants and 1,143 (FTE) teachers, including principals and vice-principals. Based on the projected enrolment, the average class size in kindergarten to Grade 3 will be reduced from 20.5 in 2021-2022 to 18.9 in 2022-2023. In Grades 4 to 8, the average class size will drop from 23.3 to 22.6. In high school, the teacher to pupil ratio will be maintained at 19.8 in French Immersion schools and 22.8 in English schools.
These additional staff will support:
- The expansion of Full Day Kindergarten to 5 schools for a total of 9 schools
- Investments in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Anti-Racism Services
- Increases in enrolment with the emphasis to maintain or reduce current classroom sizes
"Our own data, as well as the research we see nationally and internationally, emphasizes the need for robust programming in early years, including Full Day Kindergarten," said Christian Michalik, Superintendent. "Our hope is that we can eventually offer this program to all students beginning their learning journey in LRSD, but for the time being, we've added it to schools based on the needs of the community."
The budget also includes a $936,958 investment in new dollars to support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Services which will support programs including ASPIRE, CATEP, the René Deleurme Centre, Peaceful Village, a new Community Kitchen, anti-racist practice, enhancements to the Ojibwe Language program, and a review of curricula and policies.
To prioritize adding more staff to the classroom, 6.93 FTE divisional coordinators and consultants will be reassigned in the 2022-2023 school year.
"Although this budget includes important investments, the funding received does not keep up with inflation or recent wage settlements," said Michalik. "Difficult decisions to reassign dedicated and valued staff were made to reallocate dollars for smaller class sizes, additions to the Full Day Kindergarten and investments in DEI. It is important that our community know that the current work of these individuals will continue in a reimagined way. I will be sharing more with staff, students and families about these specific changes in the coming days."