Saskatoon public schools 'looking in every corner' to cover $11.5M cut

Saskatoon public schools 'looking in every corner' to cover $11.5M cut

The Saskatoon Public School board is facing some tough choices after calculating that the school division's funding is down by about $11.5 million under the new provincial budget.

Board chair Ray Morrison said that works out to about $460 less per student, compared to last year's budget.

"We'll be looking in every corner we have in the school division and everything that we do and trying to find a way to get to a balanced budget with the minimum disruption we can possibly offer," Morrison said.

The provincial budget, released last week, said Saskatchewan's pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 school system will receive $1.86 billion in school operating money in 2017-18, which is $22 million less than the previous fiscal year.

"Pretty much everything is on the table now so we're going to have to ask the administration to look at a number of options and what the implications are."

Morrison said some of those options would include identifying redundancies and under-utilized facilities. The administration may also reach out to the separate school divisions to see if there are opportunities to work together.

The board hasn't yet met to discuss the budget, but Morrison said it will have to have its budget submitted by the end of June, one that Morrison called the "most difficult" in his tenure.

As is the case with municipalities, school boards aren't allowed to run a deficit. 

The Regina Catholic School Division told CBC News it is expecting a shortfall of about $1 million, with 370 new students expected in the fall.