Adjustment in reduction rate in school taxes

ROSEMERE, QC, July 5, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Over the past few years, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board (SWLSB) has undergone significant financial cuts totaling $5.4M. The SWLSB has made adjustments with each round of budget compressions, but now, with administrative costs of less than 5% of the total budget, it can no longer absorb the additional cutbacks imposed by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport without impacting services to students. The adoption of Bill 25 will require all school boards across the province to make yet more cuts. For SWLSB, this represents an additional $3.5 M which puts us in a very precarious situation. We have always exercised sound financial management of public funds and have always invested in our students to ensure their success and well-being. However, being a minority language school board, we have a smaller pool of taxpayers for our funding and are now left with no other choice but to adjust the reduction rate to meet the shortfall caused by the government's reduction of 50% in equalization payment which it pays to the school board.

The Council of Commissioners has denounced the situation of continuous budget cuts and is opposed to the most recent government cutback and the ministry's attempt to download the financial burden on voting citizens and misplacing the blame on school boards.

Taxpayers must understand that the reduction to school taxes and its corresponding equalization grant was a program implemented by the Government of Québec in 2007-2008 to reduce the effect of the increase in the property values. The equalization grant was reimbursed to school boards by the government to compensate for the application of the reduction rate to the taxpayers.

The SWLSB prioritizes student learning, success and innovative practices to prepare our students to become active citizens. We have a collective obligation towards our youth. We need to invest in their future and provide them with the best resources and services so they become accomplished individuals.

The SWLSB, which boasts an 82% graduation rate, is centered on educational innovation and technology and is committed to preparing its students to thrive in the 21st century. The three key orientations of the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan; success, well-being and leadership & innovation, will ensure that the proper tools and resources are made available for all students to succeed.  SWLSB offers educational services to nearly 15,000 students in 38 schools and 5 Adult Education and Vocational Training centres and has a workforce of nearly 2,000 employees. It is the third largest English school board in the province.

SOURCE: Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board

For further information:

Maxeen Jolin
Communications Coordinator
Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board
235, montée Lesage, Rosemère (Québec) J7A 4Y6
450 621-5600, ext. 1385

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