3 down, 3 to go: Winnipeg school divisions finalizing their 2018/2019 budgets

School divisions across Winnipeg must submit their 2018/2019 budgets to the city by March 15, 2018.
School divisions across Winnipeg must submit their 2018/2019 budgets to the city by March 15, 2018. Getty Images

The deadline for Winnipeg school divisions to submit their budgets for the upcoming year is less than a week away.

Half of Winnipeg’s school divisions have finalized their plans, but three more are still finishing up.

Seven Oaks and Pembina Trails released their budgets for 2018/2019 Friday morning, and River East Transcona shared its final version Thursday.

READ MORE: Winnipeg school divisions balancing the books as budget day looms

Seven Oaks School Division said it will remain among the lowest spending divisions in the province, despite allocating more than 80 per cent of its budget directly to support students.

River East Transcona School Division’s budget indicates it receives less than 50 per cent of its funding from the province, but still is able to balance its budget despite being the second largest school division in Manitoba.

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“We have the lowest cost per pupil of any metro school division,” River East Transcona board chair Colleen Carswell said in a news release. “Ours is $11,759. The provincial average sits at $13,187.”

Pembina Trails said it stands in good financial stead as a growing school division, and plans to create a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program in partnership with Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology.

Louis Riel, St. James-Assiniboia and Winnipeg School Division must give their budgets to the city by March 15.

The provincial government is trying to hold divisions to a two per cent increase in special requirement tax.

READ MORE: Province calls on Manitoba school divisions to be ‘fiscally responsible’

So far, Seven Oaks, Pembina Trails and River East Transcona all fall within the province’s cap.

For homeowners in Seven Oaks, that means an average increase of $72.29 this year. In the Pembina Trails area, homeowners will see an addition $42 in taxes, and in the River East-Transcona neighbourhood, it’s $38.

Winnipeg School Division has said it wants a bit more wiggle room on taxation in order to update its ageing infrastructure, and hoped to discuss this with the province.