The Beautiful Plains School Division has released its preliminary 2013/14 budget and it includes completing repairs at R.J. Waugh School as well as the addition of teachers and English as an Additional Language resources. It also includes an increase in both funding by the Province and funds available through the local property tax base. The Division will be receiving a 7.1 per cent increase – or about $570,000 - in funding through the Provincial Education Support Program. About 4.8 per cent of that increase is due to the enrolment growth in the division, which is anticipated to increase to 1,597 in the 2013-14 school year from 1,536 to begin the 2012-13 year. The remaining Provincial funding increase is a result of equalization support. The local property tax revenue will also increase by 2.2 per cent for the BPSD largely due to a property assessment increase of 2.2 per cent within the Division in 2013 – most of the increase is due to new assessment property in the Towns of Neepawa and Carberry. With that extra funding in place, the Division is planning for a 5.5 per cent, or $880,000, increase in spending for 2013-14. As per usual, salaries comprise 75 per cent of the Division's spending. The BPSD is also looking to add three additional educational resources, 0.5 additional English as an Additional Language (EAL) Resources and four additional teachers to its classrooms. The new teacher and educational assistant positions are expected to be utilized at Neepawa schools as well as two hutterian schools. The 0.5 EAL Resources will be applied to Neepawa schools as the Division continues to work toward integrating newcomers whose first language isn't English to their classrooms. “One of the biggest educational additions in the budget is the additional teaching time for EAL,” BPSD's secretary-treasurer Gord Olmstead explained. “The EAL does the intake and testing, helps teachers and sets up programs if needed. “With that and the addition of educational assistants, we want to provide some more supports for the regular classroom teachers. We are also trying to keep our classroom sizes reasonable.” The preliminary budget also proposes building repairs and renovations at R.J. Waugh School in the office area and staff room, investigating the possibility of more repairs at NACI, and a “facelift” of NACI's Home Ec room this summer. The Division is hosting public consultation meetings at NACI Feb. 25 and at Carberry Collegiate Feb. 27, both at 7 p.m., to discuss other budget notes and spending to receive feedback.