School board member responds to budget cut reactions for 2019-2020 year

The Regina Catholic School Division will enter the next school year with a balanced budget as schools prepare for a record number of enrolled students in the fall.

But in order to reach a balance, the school division had to deliver cuts to some of their programming.

Some are reacting to the cuts to the division’s speech and language programming. According to the school board, the reductions include $93,295 in instructional operations and $203,755 from the plant operation.

Bob Kowalchuk, who serves as chair for Regina Catholic, said they have proposed different solutions in trying to help with the issue. Schools will still offer programming despite the cuts, but in a different way.

“We’ve talked about training programs, additional supports for the teachers in the classroom, providing additional supports for background training for our support staff,” said Kowalchuk. “We recognize the need to maintain it and looking at additional models on how to support speech and language. We’re trying to make do with less to be quite frank about it.”

The school division did receive $54 million from the provincial government, although it was a replacement from the amount they cut from the division’s budget back in 2017.

Initial numbers indicate more students will be a part of Regina Catholic next year, too. Enrollment has been estimated at 12,223 students in the fall, which will be its highest ever.

“I think the fact that Regina Catholic continues to grow speaks well for the quality of the instruction program, for the quality of the staff we have, the relationships we build with all our parents and children.”

Increased help has been accounted for in the latest budget with more staff support, along with a First Nation, Metis, Inuit high school adviser and support.

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