The Flin Flon School Division (FFSD) will not, in fact, be receiving a bump in funding this year.
“I wish it was so, but it’s not,” said Heather Fleming, FFSD secretary treasurer.
According to an announcement from the provincial ministry of education on Jan. 25, FFSD would receive a modest 1.6 per cent increase in total funding from the government of Manitoba. However, that figure does not include equalization benefits. That is where Fleming said the information begins to change.
Instead of receiving $9.4 million from the provincial government as was initially announced, FFSD will actually end up receiving between $9.1 and $9.2 million in total, nearly a quarter of a million dollars below the first estimate.
“Like in most years, we now are receiving less equalization than we originally budget. So actually, this year, we are getting $241,358 less than what we had originally budgeted, what our original budget from the government was,” said Fleming.
“That’s what they compare it to, to come up with this ‘Ooh, you’re getting an increase!’ We’re actually receiving 1.01 per cent less than what we got last year. That’s the same for Kelsey. That’s the same for the northern divisions. We’re not getting more money.”
FFSD typically announces its budget for the upcoming fiscal year in late winter, often in early March. There is not yet a set date for budget day, but work is well underway.
“There’s usually some changes because they base it on our prior year. It’s usually from equalization,” Fleming said.
“That’ll all come out when we do our public budget meeting and everything, but we are definitely not receiving more money.”
The first public budget meeting will be held on Feb. 20, following an online budget poll that gathered above-average feedback from the public.
“We’re just working on getting something together to present,” said Fleming.