Saskatoon’s public school board has passed its budget for the 2017-18 school year.
Trustees put together a $259.4 million budget, coming in $800,000 lower than last year despite the fact Saskatoon Public Schools will open four new elementary schools in September.
A news release from the board stated that a number of cuts were made to cover a reduction in funding from the province.
Those included eliminating the equivalent of just over 30 full-time positions, many in the board’s central office. However, with the new schools opening, the board also added just over 30 new positions for teachers and educational assistants.
Total school budgets were slashed five per cent, with the board highlighting that they still expect enrollment to swell by 700 new students this year.
Board Chair Ray Morrison expressed concerns about an ongoing lack of funding from the provincial government in a media release.
“This has been an incredibly difficult budget,” he wrote, adding: “We were able to achieve it while maintaining our pupil-teacher ratios. However, we have once again used our reserves to make ends meet, which isn’t sustainable.”