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St. James-Assiniboia School Division
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Trustee Glennie Reflects on Another Year, Another Budget

March 06, 2024

BlurbfromtheBoard_Insta_CraigGlennie.jpgWhile St. James-Assiniboia School Division (SJASD) residents have been looking forward to spring, your School Board Trustees have been hard at work setting the 2024/25 Budget.

This budget continues to build upon the strong, fiscally responsible foundation that SJASD has been known for since its establishment in 1969. The operating expenditure budget for the 2024/25 school year will be $130M, which is a 5.6 per cent increase year-over-year.

The operating expenditure budget increase is primarily the results of increased salaries and benefits already committed for SJASD staff, resulting from collective bargaining agreements. The remaining increase is attributed to building maintenance and utilities inflation, as well as new programs and services for our students to help fill gaps, including: the addition of an eSports program, new technical vocational programming at John Taylor Collegiate, and one additional Student Services Coordinator. 

Eighty-two per cent of the budget's overall expenses are spent on school-based student support. If you include school building maintenance and expenses of 10 per cent, the school division spends 92 per cent of its overall budget on or in the classroom.

The provincial funding announcement from the Minister of Education indicated a provincial wide increase of 3.4 per cent. The provincial increase is distributed amongst all the school divisions in Manitoba and varies for each school division. For the 2024/25 fiscal year, SJASD only received a 0.7 per cent increase verse the prior year. This is in stark contrast to the previous provincial funding increases of 5.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent seen in the prior two years.

Like all school divisions, SJASD relies heavily on provincial funding. For the 2024/25 budget, 48 per cent of the Division's revenues come from the province, while 49 per cent of revenues come from the local taxpayer through property taxes. The significant drop in year-over-year provincial funding has led to committed expenses exceeding the funding increase. Because of this, the Board had to make the difficult decision to turn to our local tax base to fill the gap that was created. 

The mill rate on an SJASD property will increase from 11.960 to 12.453. This will have a net impact to the average homeowner of $35.24 or a 4.1 per cent increase on the School Division portion of their property taxes. While the Board of Trustees grappled with the decision to increase the mill rate, it was required to maintain core services offered by the Division.

It is also important to note that the SJASD has allocated $15.8M for facility repairs and renovations, as well as $8.6M for technology updates over the next five years. These are key to ensuring that the learning environment for all SJASD students remains of the highest quality. The Board is also working with the provincial government to confirm commitments on major capital projects, including a Division application to build a new, larger gymnasium, updated library and new auxiliary programming spaces at Phoenix School to accommodate enrollment growth in Headingley.

I would once again like to thank our amazing Senior Administrative team who worked so hard and diligently on this budget.

Craig Glennie
School Trustee - Centre Ward
St. James-Assiniboia School Division

For more information on Trustee Glennie, visit his bio.


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