On April 6, the 2021-2022 provincial budget was announced in the legislature with a 2.3% increase in operating funds for PreK-12 Education. Chinook will again face a fiscal challenge as the budget is developed for the upcoming school year. The division’s recognized grant of $77.17M is approximately
$490,000 more than the previous year, resulting in an approximate 0.6% increase in total budget for Chinook. This will not offset the anticipated increase in costs in 2021-2022 and will result in a funding shortfall for the division.
“We are very grateful for the funding provided by provincial and federal governments for pandemic related costs and supplies. The extra dollars have helped our Board continue to support schools and fund additional expenses over the past year,” said Board Chair Kim Pridmore, “However, the operational
funding increase will not cover ongoing significant costs such as teacher and support staff salary
increases and general inflation. Long term this will not be sustainable.”
Director of Education, Mark Benesh, added “Our trajectory doesn’t change in covering inflationary costs or salary and other increases. In our budget development, we will work to find ways to address these additional costs,” said Benesh, “Supporting student success and well-being will always be our priority.
This year, as part of our learning response, we have been able to put additional supports that were identified as needed in classrooms across the division. We will keep our focus on the health and safety of students and staff during the pandemic.”
As the Board works to finalize their budget for 2021-22, they will align the Division strategic plan with the new Provincial Education Plan that the Ministry of Education has been developing. They hope both urban and rural Saskatchewan students will be provided with the resources and support needed to experience success.