With a balanced budget and an increase in primary and secondary service, the Commission scolaire de la Région de Sherbrooke had good news to offer by adopting its budget for the year 2017 -2018.
“In fact, it’s been the first year in five years that we do not deal with cuts. There is a reinjection, not major, but it was the fun of preparing the budget, it was less painful, launches immediately the director general André Lamarche. We’re out of five years of cuts, $ 15 million, the storm is over, and we’re going to be able to repair the boat. “
Among other highlights, the next CSRS budget was increased from $ 238 million to $ 255 million, including $ 5.6 million in capital investments, increased customer base and indexation of salaries and other system.
The school tax rate will be increased slightly from $ 0.291 0 in 2016-2017 to $ 0.292 77 in 2017-2018. For a home valued at $ 200,000, this represents an increase of 0.6%, or $ 3.54.
There will also be an indexation of 2% of the supervision and supervision fees for lunchtime, excluding disadvantaged schools, and 3% for parking fees.
For a family of three, the increase in surveillance costs is in the order of $ 9, from $ 467 to $ 476.
The CSRS has chosen to increase parking costs because it aims to self-finance these infrastructures and it hastened to specify that, with a license at an average cost of $ 200, it remains very competitive with other institutions Of Sherbrooke.
It is still too early to know how many professionals and teachers will be hired for the next school year, following the guidelines contained in the Couillard government’s latest budget. Minister of Education Sébastien Proulx has promised to hire 1500 new teachers, professionals or support staff in September and 7,200 within five years.
From the start
“These measures will be very much supervised by the MEES and will go directly to the schools, but it will appear right away, right from the start,” says Lamarche.
However, this poses another challenge for the CSRS, one of the most decentralized school boards in Quebec, which has gone through a storm of cutbacks by cutting government jobs rather than schools, Lamarche said. The organization Gilles Normand.
“It has always been our line to be cut back in the administration so as not to interfere with student services,” Normand said, adding that the level of service in schools has even increased in five years.
But as the reinjection promised by Quebec will go directly to schools, the CSRS is somehow penalized by its sound approach.
“Our challenge is to find a balance for the school board in this new way of sharing in order to share risks,” explains Lamarche.
This situation nevertheless allows the two managers to look to the future with a new optimism, especially since the signals seem better in Québec and that 2018 will be an election year.
“Because of the cutbacks, we have been keeping for educational development for five years, to ensure the success and perseverance of the students, we are cleaning up the budget this year, we are balancing, We re-inject and next year, announces André Lamarche, we will be ready for more promising projects as the school board has always done. ”
Lastly, the CSRS had no more to announce on Tuesday about the investments it expects for five schools in Sherbrooke but it has called the media to the gymnasium of the Pie-X-de-l’Assomption school Wednesday morning .
A slight improvement at the CS des Sommets
New funding recently granted by the Government of Quebec will enable the Commission scolaire des Sommets (CSS) to offer more assistance to students in difficulty in its territory. Despite this, the CSS will remain in a somewhat difficult financial position over the next year.
The CSS has adopted a balanced budget of $ 107,729,111 for 2017-2018. However, she was forced to sink into her accumulated surplus to find the $ 431,492 needed to complete her budget.
This is not the first time that the CSS has been obliged to use part of its accumulated surplus to restore the balance between its expenditures and its revenues in anticipation of a new fiscal year.
“There is a shortfall in operating costs. The cuts we have suffered in recent years must be erased so that we can no longer use our surplus, “says school board executive director Édith Pelletier.
The CSS cutbacks of more than $ 6.5 million would often force principals to be “creative” in managing current spending. “But our situation remains viable,” says Pelletier.
That said, with a view to its next fiscal year, the CSS will have an additional $ 1.6 million for a series of measures targeting clienteles and specific issues.
Thanks to this extra money, five psycho-educator positions will be created. A new specialist in speech-language pathology will also be hired. These hires will improve the quality of services offered to exceptional students.
The rate of school taxes in effect on the territory of the CSS will decline slightly in 2017-2018 to $ 0.1843 per $ 100 of property assessment.
It should also be noted that about one hundred more students now attend the school board’s establishments. Their number now stands at 8323.