Some boards are already well into their 2010-11 budget process, already having identified the traditional areas they believe they will face a shortfall in. While I'm expecting the opposition parties and some non-governmental groups (IE: People for Education) will be making some noise about the lack of a promised 'full review' of the Education Funding Formula, I don't think many boards will care. The reality is they've all been working with this formula (as continually modified and amended) for 12 years now, so it's old hat. Boards know where they're underfunded and with a few notable exceptions every budget year are able to shuffle the funds to at least provide status quo.
I would expect, based on the last year, to see some of the following:
- The second year of implementation of the cuts to professional development, computers and textbooks announced in the 2009-10 GSNs
- Continued support for salary benchmark and teacher-experience grants per the provincial framework agreements
- Capital funding to be all over the map as some boards will still be receiving grants from various different current and expired programs whereas others will see the drop from the end of the primary class size capital funding
- It would greatly surprise me to see any overall increase higher than 1% in the GSNs. Given enrolment continues to fall, I'm predicting this is the first of a few years where the government will be firmer on asking boards to make up the rising costs of salaries, utilities and programs (like the ELP components funded by the GSN) from their costs that should be dropping as a result of Good Places to Learn upgrades and enrolment/capital condition driven school consolidations and closures.
It's from this outside pot that concerns arise that the dollars committed in year one (or total) won't be enough to adequately fund the program or leave the fees for the mandated before- and after-school programs for four- and five-year-olds prohibitively expensive.
I'm scheduled for office hours Friday, sort of, so I hope to be able to post that day on the GSN release. If not, I will throw something up this weekend.