The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education will run a deficit of $165,866 next year, according to the 2023-24 budget presented Monday by secretary treasurer Greg MacPherson. The board approved the budget as presented.

Internet was down at central office so the meeting was not live streamed.

MHCBE will see an increase in enrolment again next year by a projected 17 students. The budget has been adjusted as projected enrolment is not as high as expected and the division felt it prudent to account for the difference so they could plan appropriately and not have unexpected funding reductions later.

The division is experiencing the full impact of the new funding model now that hold harmless and bridge funding, totalling $1.4 million last year, have been eliminated. Total revenue for 2023-24 is $38.5 million, an increase of $3.2 million over last year.

Human resources account for the vast majority of expenses for the division. Salaries and benefits for both certified and uncertified staff will increase for the coming year. The average teacher within MHCBE is $93,028 and when benefits are included it amounts to $109,507. An additional seven teachers are being budgeted for by the division.

The International Education expenditure budget will increase by 9%, just over $83,000, to over $1 million. The expectation is the program will generate a surplus of $404,000 and a portion of those funds will be used to hire two additional teachers at Monsignor McCoy High School. The remaining $140,000 will be split between the new school building project and religious education.

The allocation for transportation increased by $447,000, but this budget will have a deficit of $197,000.

The division has been transporting unfunded elementary school students residing between 1.2 km and 2.4 km of their school. Alberta Education is now funding elementary school students who live 1 km or more from their school and the division anticipates three more buses will be required.

They are currently negotiating rates with Southland Transportation and the budget has built in a 10% increase on daily rates. A final decision on proceeding with the GPS and cameral project on the buses will occur before students return to school in September.

By SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 30, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Medicine Hat News   Medicine Hat, Alberta

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