With the merger of the Horizon and Englefeld Protestant Separate school divisions comes a loss of $70,000 worth of funding from the provincial government.
Kevin Garinger, Horizon’s director of education, said the loss comes down to the funding formula the province uses to determine what each school division receives.
“We’ll continue to ensure we advocate for continued support in terms of funding to offset those types of things but we’re also recognizing that education of our children will continue and we’ll do that with the current funding envelope that we’ve been provided,” he said.
“I think the board and the administrative staff here at Horizon work hard to make sure that $70,000 decrease is not felt by students in the classroom,” said Linda Mattock, the division’s vice-chair.
The merger was official June 30, 2018.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association is asking Horizon to pay $10,000 in connection with Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division’s membership fee.
Englefeld’s fee was around $20,000. It paid half of it to cover the half a year it existed before it merged with Horizon.
It decided to do this because the provincial government placed caps on governance spending that year, which have since been removed. Englefeld’s limit was $21,000 and there were expenses associated with the amalgamation.
Horizon is also arguing the association’s bylaws addresses a division that’s withdrawing, not one that ceases to exist.
“The bylaw, the way it’s written, would suggest that a school division would have to give almost two years notice to follow the bylaw to the letter,” Mattock said. “In this case – and I think in any case – we didn’t know two years ahead of time, Englefeld didn’t know two years ahead of time they were looking at amalgamation.”
Shawn Davidson, the president of the association, told the Horizon board that they were open to negotiating a deal due to the circumstances.
“It’s not a matter of the dollars. We are very concerned about the precedent set by violating our bylaws.”