The number of students enrolled in classes in the South East Cornerstone Public School Division is up for the current school year, compared to last year. The numbers were released during the SECPSD board meeting on October 11th.
The enrolment went up by 128 students, bringing the total number to 8,305.
While the Director of Education, Keith Keating, is pleased to see the enrolment going up, it does bring some challenges.
"That increase is better than the decrease, but we can see increased class sizes in some places, so we have to sometimes shift or hire new staff to try to fill the need that those increases create,” Keating explained. The increase also comes after the school division had to eliminate 3.93 full-time-equivalent teaching roles in their budget for the current school year due to the funding received from the provincial government.
The funding model for school divisions throughout the province is based on enrolment numbers. When the number of students goes up, so does the money received by school divisions from the provincial government. However, the increase isn’t always guaranteed, or based on a mathematical formula. This year, the funding for SECPSD from the province is up by 1.1 percent, while the enrolment is up by 1.5 percent, without even factoring inflation into the math.
“Hopefully with more students, we can hope that translates to more money, but it doesn’t necessarily mean more money,” Keating said. “The total dollars in the education pot doesn’t change if the numbers go up across the province. Rather, the money gets spread out over a greater number of students, so it’s still great to be up rather than down, but we’re not sure what that will translate to in terms of resources yet.”
Keating added the increase in enrolment is being seen primarily in Weyburn and Estevan, as more students transfer into the school division from other jurisdictions and divisions, across all the grade levels.
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