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Catholic school board passes 2008/09 budget

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Robert van Oort, Chair of the Northwest Catholic District School Board, is pleased to announce that the trustees approved the 2008/2009 Annual Budget, on Saturday, June 21.

“Our trustees are committed to supporting the Catholic school system so that it meets the needs of all students and offers them excellent facilities, and great teachers in an excellent faith filled learning environment,” said van Oort.

This is a balanced budget with revenues and expenditures of $15,881. A transfer of $823,000 from reserves was required in order to balance the budget. The trustees decided to use reserves to enhance the staffing compliment to continue to support student learning.

Despite a projected enrollment decline of 48 pupils (four percent), the budget reflects an increase of 10 percent with the bulk of the increase in staffing.

Teaching staff has increased by 9.0 teachers over the 2007/2008 budget to continue the high quality of instruction and support to students despite provincial and local enrollment decline.

“This year, the Ministry of Education budget allocation was largely a status quo budget with few changes from the prior year,” explained Superintendent of Business Chris Howarth.

“The funding from reserves is a sign that the board of trustees are committed to supporting the existing programs and they want to continue to enhance the Catholic schools with four additional reading resource specialists to support the literacy programs,” said Director of Education Mary-Catherine Kelly.

“These additional teaching staff will be placed in the schools to directly impact student and teacher learning. There has also been added support for Special Education to maintain a high level of service to the children,” she added.

The board has invested in recycling programs, physical education, the arts, Core French and French Immersion programs through additional Ministry of Education grants.

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