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Winnipeg School Division passes 2014-15 budget

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The Winnipeg School Division has passed its 2014-15 budget, which includes a 3.6% property tax increase.

According to a release, the final budget  will call for expenditures of just over $374 million in 2014-15, about $8 million more than 2013-14.

The projected increase in property taxes will be $40 on a home valued at $171,130, which is calculated to be the value of the average home in the division.

In order to keep from increasing expenditures in the budget, trustees are tapping into the division’s reserve fund to support the following projects: a pilot in four schools for a full-time kindergarten program, the installation of additional security systems in schools, and the improvement of Wi-Fi in schools.

While the full budget has not been posted to winnipegsd.ca, the website does have provide answers to frequently asked budget questions online at https://www.winnipegsd.ca/BoardofTrustees/budget-process-and-reports/Documents/Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20Budget.pdf

According to this, 63% of the costs of the division are funded by the provincial government while taxpayers provide 35%. The remaining 2% comes from other sources of revenue.

For the 2014/15 school year, the province is allocating over $179 million, an increase of more than $4 million over last year.

The division has approximately 33,000 students from nursery to Grade 12 in 77 schools.

The revised expenditures for the budget are as follows:

• Regular instruction (all subject areas, principals/vice-principals, English as an additional language, language programs) — $195,886,100;
• Student support services (special education, clinician services, resource and counselling) — $87,808,800;
• Community education (nursery, adult programs, and community use of school) – $9,888,200;
• Instructional and other support services (staff professional development, curriculum development, library services, and nutritional program) – $9,706,100;
• Divisional administration (computer and information services, business functions, human resource functions, board and central administration) – $10,417,500;
• Transportation of pupils (operation of school buses) – $5,049,100;
• Operations and maintenance (operations and maintenance of 77 schools and other facilities) – $46,431,100;
• Fiscal and capital (payroll tax, banking charges, and capital transfers) – $8,854,500

A spokesperson for the Winnipeg School Division said no further details of the final budget will be released until the end of the month.

For more information about the final budget, contact the WSD at 204-775-0231.

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