We are now well into the 2012-2013 school year, the weather has turned wintery and the children in Parkland schools are continuing their learning journey.
A lot is happening in the province at this time. As I previously mentioned, the new Education Act is before the legislature as Bill 3. This Act is designed to replace the School Act which has been in place for over two decades. The Education Act is one of the more important pieces of provincial legislation as it will provide a framework for the governance of Education in the province for the years to come. As I write this message, Bill 3 has passed first and second readings and third reading should happen shortly. Once passed by the legislature, it will take about a year for the regulations supporting the Act to be developed. Hopefully by the fall of 2013, the Act will be proclaimed and become law.
Probably the most publicised feature of the Act is the very strong attempt to address the issue of bullying. Boards will be charged with ensuring “a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that includes the establishment of a code of conduct for students that addresses bullying behaviour”. In addition, the definition of bullying has been extended to include “cyber-bullying” and the Board’s authority to act has been extended beyond the school and school day to include any bullying that affects the school community.
In other business, the board approved the operating budget for the 2012-2013 school year. Some of the highlights are:
- Total Revenue of $113,631,142 – up over $6 million from last year, due largely to increased enrolment
- Total Expenditures of $113,631,142 of which approximately:
- $82M for Instruction (k-12)
- $7.75M for Operation and Maintenance
- $10M for Transportation
- $4M for Governance and System Administration
- $9M for such things as school generated funds, infrastructure renewal, debt servicing, etc.
- This year the Board provides service to 9,839 students, employing over 1,000 teachers, education assistants, support staff and custodians
Work continues on our System Review with the focus this year on the Stony Plain and area enrolment and accommodation. This is a continuation of previous years’ focus on Spruce Grove and the West End schools.
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org