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The Finance Chair for Hanover School Board says this year's funding increase for Hanover from the province will be similar to previous years.

Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart Thursday announced $6.6 million in increased funding for public school divisions for the 2018-19 school year. The province will be investing more than $1.3 billion in public school divisions next school year.

2018 02 rick(Rick Peters)Rick Peters says this will work out to a slight increase in funding over last year for Hanover.

Meanwhile, he says it was announced equalization is up by $595,000.

"We are one of the divisions that benefits from equalization payments," notes Peters. "I don't know the exact number as to what that increase will be for us."

According to Peters, the announced funding should be enough that Hanover will not need to cut any services.

For the 2018-19 school year, the Minister is directing school boards to limit any increases to their local education property tax to two per cent.

"We will definitely hold to that or less," he says.

Wishart signaled the intention to move to a streamlined, single provincial bargaining table for public school teachers from the existing 38 collective bargaining units. The last round of contracts is set to expire June 30. Manitoba is the only province where teacher collective bargaining is conducted exclusively at the local level, negotiated separately between each school board and its local teachers' association. Peters says it is too early for him to comment on this announcement.

"I can't comment, I need to review as a board," he says. "I think each one of the board members may have varying opinions on it so I can't comment."

The Minister also announced a 15 per cent reduction to the existing administration cost caps, effective July 1st. School division administration costs, which include the board of trustees, superintendent's and secretary treasurer's departments, have increased by $5.6 million or nine per cent in the past three years. According to Peters, because of its size, Hanover's limit is 3.5 per cent and after a 15 per cent reduction, the division will remain well within that limit.

Peters says overall he is pleased and satisfied with what was announced Thursday.

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