The Hanover school board says the 2023-24 budget “reflects fiscally challenging times” for the division.
Trustees approved the financial plan which sees fewer teachers even though enrollment is shown as increasing and expected to continue to go up.
Teaching positions are being cut by 10.5 (full-time) as well as a reduction of 15 full-time teaching positions that would be required for next year when Hanover schools are expecting an increase of nearly 300 students.
Hanover’s $105.9 million budget shows an increase in provincial funding that does not keep up with increasing costs.
The Hanover School Board presented the financial challenges to the public at a meeting earlier this month where it was made clear that big budget cuts would have to be made for the new budget.
The board released a statement on Thursday with some details on the approved plan.
“The Hanover School Division Board of Trustees has approved the 2023-24 school year budget. The new budget invests $105.9 million in the education of students. The Board worked diligently to find budget solutions that address enrollment growth amid significant fiscal challenges.
Although provincial operational funding increased by $1,123,800 (1.8%), in addition to $850,800 in Property Tax Offset Grant, operating costs are projected to rise by $4,668,000. The cost increase is primarily due to inflationary measures and expected wage settlements, which creates a deficit of $2,693,400.
To meet provincial budget guidelines, the Board will reduce expenditures in teaching positions by $1,250,300 (10.5 full-time teachers), transportation by $314,600 (bus replacements), school maintenance by $292,000 (projects) and IT infrastructure by $100,000. An additional cost reduction of $236,500 will be achieved by eliminating existing divisional programs and services. The Board will cover the remaining budgetary gap by allocating $500,000 of surplus. In addition to the reductions outlined, Hanover School Division will not add the equivalent of 15 full-time teachers needed to accommodate anticipated growth (additional 279 students) for the 2023-24 school year.
Hanover School Division adheres to the taxation guidelines provided by the Province of Manitoba, which no longer allows divisions to raise additional funds through taxation. Therefore, the school taxation levy will not increase homeowners’ average school tax bill. Instead, as a direct result of new property growth within the Division, the average ratepayer will see a decrease in their school taxes of 3% for the third consecutive year.
The Board of Trustees continues to work with the Provincial government to address the needs of our students. The 2023-24 budget reflects fiscally challenging times for the Hanover School Division.” - Hanover School Division