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St. Paul Education balances its 2024-25 budget

ST. PAUL – St. Paul Education has approved its budget for the 2024-25 school year. The board is budgeting $58,407,702 in both revenue and expense, resulting to a balanced budget.

ST. PAUL – St. Paul Education has approved its budget for the 2024-25 school year. 

The board is budgeting $58,407,702 in both revenue and expense, resulting to a balanced budget. 

Instruction expenses are the biggest part of the budget, amounting to $43.1 million, while revenue is expected to be at $42.489 million, resulting in an initial deficit of $625,207. 

Facilities and busing, however, show surpluses. Facilities expenses are budgeted at $9 million, with a $9.1 million expected revenue for a surplus of $123,387.  

Busing is also budgeted to have a surplus of $37,550, with both revenues and expenses budgeted at around $3.5 million each. 

Government and administrative expenses are budgeted at $2.7 million, with a budgeted revenue of $3.2 million, resulting in a surplus of $464,270.  

Overall, when compared to the 2023-24 budget, total revenues and expenditures practically remained unchanged. 

To achieve a balanced budget, the board made adjustments, including the “challenging decision” to adjust staffing levels, according to information released by the school division on June 3. 

Superintendent Peter Barron said that the overall class sizes are expected to remain similar, and staffing levels will “primarily be managed through transfers and attrition.” 

While the staffing adjustments are difficult, the division says they are necessary to “position our school division for a sustainable future,” adding that while the reductions were necessary, the board also made “strategic hires” that align with division’s goals. 

“These new positions are essential for advancing our educational objectives and supporting our students' success. These hirings focus on key areas that enhance student learning and help achieve our strategic goals, including support for teacher innovation, technology, and student wellness,” according to St. Paul Education. 

This decision comes amid economic constraints, including declining enrollment and unchanged funding rates versus increased inflation, according to the division. 

RELATED: Decreased government funding leads to budgetary challenges for St. Paul Education 

For example, the division’s budget report do indicate that the budgeted funding from the Government of Alberta decreased by $1.1 million compared to the 2023-24 school year. This year, the provincial government’s funding is $46.2 million compared to $47.1 million from last year. 

Secretary-Treasurer Jean Champagne also said in the release that the division’s reserves are below the provincial benchmarks. And with minimal reserves remaining, the division has limited options for financial flexibility. 

And unlike other divisions that manage deficits through their reserves, the Division said they had already exhausted this option in the past seven years. 

According to the division, they continue to find ways to streamline operations and reduce costs to address financial challenges and reduced enrollment. 


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