Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 19, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
City schools in ACTION AUGUST in, THE LETI-IBRIDGE HERALD SPECIAL SCHOOLS SUPPLEMENT BIKES MARK THE DAY With city students returning to school next week, cil! school zones and the usual need of extra caution be in effect. Many students ride their bicycles to school; many others walk. All are vulneiable. School zones are in effect on weekdays, 8 to 1 a m. 10 p.m and 3 to p.m. School starting again for city students It's back In the old grind next Tuesday for more than Grade 1 to 12 students in Leth- bridge public and separate schools. The students return to classes Aug. 24, a day later than teachers, who start work Aug. 23 to prepare for the rc'gislration sessions next day. Under the1 Lethbridge divided school year system, the only one of its kind in Alberta, students attend school for a fall and a spring semester with equal teaching time. In order to end the first semester prior to the Christmas vacation, however, il is necessary to add about 30 miiuilcs each day to the school days (if the fall semester. Some elementary schools, not bound by terminating classes each semester, have decided to extend each day throughout the year by 15 minutes to yield the department of education required total leaching time. The fall semester ends Dec. 23. with students returning Jan. 10 for the spring semester. The semester and the school year end June 7. Fall semester holidays include Labor Day. Sepl.G: Thanksgiving, Oct. 11 and Remembrance Day. Nov. 11. Spring semester holidays include a mid term break Feb. 24 and 25; Easier vacation. March 31 to April 9: Victoria Day. Mav 22. Total teaching time is 192.6 days. For further information: School district telephone numbers Public: Separate: 327-4521 327-4133 Finance of education is a hectic business No one denies that education is an expensive business in fact, last year the Lethbridge public and separate school districts between them spent for their op- erating activities alone. Further sums were spent on new building projects, school additions and school renovations, programs which will continue this year as well. The operating expendi- tures will be approximately 11 per cent greater than those of last year, at The increase is due to more stu- dents in the system, inflationary price increases in supplies, pro- gram improvements and salary in- creases for teaching and maiiue- ance staffs. The city public school district expects to spend some S6.750.00G and the separate school district million. With the funds. 465 teacher? ed- ucate more than students. The provincial government pro- vides the lion's share cf education funds through its Foundation Grants program, although much oi Special supplement This special supplement to The Lethbridge Herald is jointly spon- sored by the city public and sep- arate school boards, and The Herald. Its purpose is to inform parents, students and other taxpayers of some of the new developments which have taken place in Leth- bridge education during the past year and to provide the special in- formation needed to assist students in starling school this fall. Data concerning the city's vari- ous schools, trustees' telephone numbers and other information are intended as items to be saved by those concerned for use whenever necessary. Election this fall In this fall's Oct. 13 civic elec- tion, all Lethbridge school board seats will be open for election for three-year terms of office. There are seven trustees on the public school board and five on the separate school board. Most have signified their inten- tion to run again, but a few will not, due to business and other pressures. Persons interested in running for .school board office must be city residents, and taxpayers in the school district (public or sep- arate) in which they campaign. the money still comes from prop- erty taxes. Of the 1971 Lethbridge lax rate of G8 mills. 38.3 mills 56.3 per cent goes to education. Of the 38.3 mills, 25.8 are returned to the provincial government as the city's share of the provincial Foundation Grants fund. The remaining 12.5 mills of edu- ation taxation are classed as a sup- plementary requisition, kept in Mie citv by the school districts. The city gets substantially more back than it contributes. The Alberta department of edu- cation has limited to six per cent the annual increase in education expenditures, although adjustments are made for enrolment increases. The school districts take every precaution to see that the money is not misspent, and this year the public school district has embarked on an experimental budgeting sys- tem expected to make its activities even more efficient. Called Planned Program Budget- ing and Evaluation System ac- counting, the program involves keeping an itcm-by-'iem control over expenditures witli an accom- panying analysis of how effectively each item was used- Adjustments can then be made either part-way through a finan- cial year or at the end oC the year so that inefficient items can be re- vised. Plebiscite here? There is some possibility that an education money plebiscite will be necessary in the fall of 1972 in Lethbridge, and almost even odds that one will be needed for 1973, unless alternate government fi- nancing is established. The plebiscite would ar.k Leth- bridge residents for permission to increase the supplementary requi- sition for education now 12.5 mills of the 68-mill city taxation beyond limits set by the Alberta department of education. The department has limited per- mitted increases to six per cent per year, with adjustments made for enrolment increases in the schools. However, most Alberta school districts arc finding it difficult to live within the limitation this year and a number have announced their intention to call for a plebi- scite next year. The department of education would then permit any addition to the local taxation approved by city taxpayers. Severe inflationary pressures in- cluding equipment costs and sal- aries are among problems fac- ed by the school districts, although a number of the expenditures now being curtailed involve new pro- grams designed to meet modern needs.