Winnipeg School Division Board finalizes 2020/21 budget
The Winnipeg School Division (WSD) Board of Trustees has approved its budget for the 2020/21 school year. The total budget, as proposed in the Board’s draft released in February, is $421,221,700 for the fiscal period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The budget means a 2.13 percent increase on the property tax levy, or about $31 a year on the average assessed home value of $225,700 within WSD.
“We have managed to remain at the two percent special requirement for this budget, which translates into the 2.13 percent increase property owners will experience,” says Arlene Reid, Finance Committee Chair, WSD Board of Trustees. “During our draft budget discussions, re-assessments on commercial properties were still being finalized and the result of those commercial re-assessments has shifted the burden of the education tax from businesses to homeowners.” Reid notes that in the draft budget, the proposed property tax levy was estimated at 1.44 percent.
“As we communicated to our stakeholders over the past month of consultations, the 2020/21 budget means no additions and no reductions in programs and services,” says Arlene Reid, Finance Committee Chair, WSD Board of Trustees. “We recognize that there are needs within the division that we can’t address with this budget due to the decrease in funding from the province and provincial direction to limit the special requirement at 2 percent.”
Reid says that a mandatory 15 percent reduction of management will be addressed by the division and the province.
“I’m proud of the work done here, developing a budget based on WSD’s guiding principles which include leading education innovation, high quality education, employing competent and qualified staff, while managing tax dollars responsibly,” says Reid. “Our Board remains committed to its responsibilities and recognizes the important impact of the provincial budget on educational opportunities for our students, and on the level of property taxation for our residents. It is in this spirit that we will continue to consult on educational matters affecting students and constituents which we believe are very important to the success of our school communities.”
WSD was established in 1871 and will celebrate 150 years of education in 2021. It currently has 79 schools, almost 33,000 students and more than 4,500 full-time 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.