The province has been touting its distance learning model, but it is costing local school divisions and contributing to budget shortfalls.
The Prairie Valley School Division (PVSD) said that one of the factors contributing to their budget shortfall is approximately $600,000 in unexpected costs related to the newly formed Saskatchewan Distance Learning Centre (Sask DLC).
Janet Kotylak, PVSD board chair, said the newly introduced system is causing a significant amount of unexpected fees which is impacting them as they are setting their budget and trying to use resources that are spread too thin.
“We’re using our limited reserves to fund $600,000 for distance learning. We typically only have about 110 courses that our students take through distance learning, but the government has taken $600,000 off the top of our grant to fund over 1,300 courses,” said Kotylak. “So, it’s having a profound impact on our overall budget.”
When it comes to the Sask DLC, the government is paying roughly $23 million in costs to fund the system, while school divisions pay a per class per student fee of $500 dollars.
She said the government is estimating Prairie Valley students will enroll in 1,315 part time online