March 12, 2018 (Winnipeg, MB) – The Winnipeg School Division (WSD) Board of Trustees has approved a final budget
for the 2018/2019 school year. Complying with Provincial government guidelines, the Board has approved a two percent
increase to the special requirement resulting in a 3.3 percent, or $45 a year, increase on property taxes for taxpayers
within WSD boundaries. This is based on the average assessed value of $214,200 on a home in WSD.
The final budget approved by the Board of Trustees includes expenditures of $410,984,800 for the fiscal period July 1,
2018 to June 30, 2019.
“As in past years, the consultation process is very important when we are considering what can be added or removed in
order to have a balanced budget,” said Sherri Rollins, Chair, WSD Board of Trustees. “While we recognize there are
several important administration needs that have been identified for Winnipeg School Division, we have deferred those
items to ensure frontline programming remains intact.”
New this year for WSD is funding and revenue for its International Education Program and the Swimming Counts program
initiated in January 2018. There are also funds to address new provincial guidelines for workplace safety in WSD schools
and buildings. These guidelines require changes to formaldehyde and formalin specimens in science labs, retrofitting
some equipment in industrial arts programs, and a variety of other personal protective and monitoring equipment.
WSD Finance Committee Chair Chris Broughton said several items proposed for consultation as options for cost
reductions have been left in place due to community support.
“Public support for the school resource officer program and full-day Kindergarten at 11 schools continues to be strong,”
said Broughton. “In addition, this budget is addressing needs identified for building maintenance and accessibility
articulated in the WSD Building Systems Assessment Report released by the Board on March 8.” Deferred maintenance
in the form of building systems exceeding their useful life and capital improvements represents a budgeted deficiency of
about $261 million, 75.5 percent of which should be supported by Public Schools Finance Board. These funding needs
are assumed over a period of 30 years.
Funding has also been allocated in this budget to cover an expected $400,000 carbon tax bill as the result of the
Province’s “Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan” proposing a flat carbon pricing of $25 per tonne.
The Board has approved $1,752,900 in cost savings to achieve a balanced budget without impacting programming for
students. These include $100,000 in travel budgets and $1,652,900 in vacancy management with savings being achieved
WSD continues to operate as one of the leanest administration teams in the Province, while providing direction, support
and service to the largest school division. WSD administrative costs equal 2.7 percent of total spending, below the 3.0
percent mandated limit for all large urban school divisions in the province.
WSD was established in 1871 and currently has 78 schools, 33,000 students and 6,000 employees. Its purpose is to
provide a learning environment that fosters the growth of each student’s potential and provide equitable opportunity to
develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary for meaningful participation in a global and diverse society.