Buses, kindergarten face changes as Regina Public Schools deals with budget shortfall

Thousands of students within Regina Public Schools will be affected by cost-cutting measures which RPS says will save about $3.14 million.

Non-provincially funded daycare to be phased out by 2019

Thousands of students will be affected by the cuts, which will total about $3.14 million. (Stefani Langenegger/CBC)

Regina Public Schools is cutting a large slice out of their budget after a $9.5 million shortfall as a result of last month's provincial budget. 

According to an email sent to RPS staff obtained by CBC News, $3.14 million will be saved by making three changes within the next two years. 

Those changes include a modification to the transportation zones, which means only students who live more than one kilometre from their school will be eligible for bus service. This measure will save about $1.35 million and 1,100 students will be affected.

Kindergarten classes will be changed from half-day sessions five days a week to full day sessions every other day. More than $446,000 will be saved and will impact 1,900 students, the letter said.

Two pre-kindergarten programs, Discovery and Communication Preschools and SCEP placements, will be scrapped and phased out by 2019, which is expected to save an addition $1.35 million. 

In March, kindergarten to Grade 12 funding was slashed by $22 million dollars. Because school divisions operate on a different fiscal year, the boards said they're actually taking a $54-million hit.

Yesterday, Catholic school boards held meetings in Regina and Saskatoon so they could address their own funding shortfalls as a result of the budget cuts.

School division budgets need to be submitted to the provincial government by June 30. These savings and changes will be reflected and communicated in the RPS 2017-2018 budget.

Saskatchewan has seen 20 new schools open throughout the province to accommodate approximately 2,000 more students.