The Minister of Education wants Regina Public Schools (RPS) to take a second look at its recent budget decisions.
In light of a $9.5 million budget shortfall, caused in part by the provincial budget, the school division recently announced three major changes.
One of those is the phasing-out of the Communication Preschool for hearing-impaired children or those with apraxia.
It was a funded through the division, never by the ministry, and was the only one of its kind in Regina, which is why Education Minister Don Morgan wants to see what other options there are to save money.
“We want to ask them what is happening and see if it is something we can do something with,” Morgan said in response at the legislature Wednesday. “We want to work with them and find out and explore what possibilities are there.”
He added he wanted to work with school divisions to “minimize any impact.”
Further changes coming
How welcome this will be will depend on the options Regina Public Schools has available to it.
The changes announced by the division save roughly $3 million, not enough to cover the budget shortfall.
“There will be some other things that we’re not funded for that we will have to take a close look at to see if we can continue to do that,” RPS director Greg Enion explained. “We will try to look at it in a lens where we will try to reduce services rather than totally eliminate them.”
School division budgets are due in June and if a division needs to dip into reserves it must have the government’s permission to do so.
What power a division has in the future will change as the government tabled legislation to amend The Education Act.
Morgan insists those changes will not reduce the autonomy of school divisions rather have them work more collaboratively together.
The amendments may include a reduction in the number of trustees each division has in time for the next election.