Letter to the Editor: School district needs to save $350,000

School trustees and district staff have been working on the 2015/16 school year budget since January.

School trustees and district staff have been working on the 2015/16 school year budget since January. On Feb. 23 the first draft of the budget was released.

It is basically a status quo budget which means that this draft of the budget maintains everything we had in the current year’s preliminary budget, with the assumption government will fully fund all collective agreement increased costs as promised but is impacted by decreased funding from the Ministry of Education as they phase out funding protection and the targeted grant to support implementation of the BC Education Plan will be removed.

With those assumptions we are projecting a $590,000 deficit. By spring break the grants to the district will be finalized by the Ministry of Education and shared.

At the same time we will be provided with more details regarding the “administrative savings” announced in the BC budget and the resulting impact to our district. Once the financial impact is known the board may need to revise their budget position (i.e. the projected deficit may have to be adjusted to reflect a higher amount).

Our student enrolment this year was less than projected and we are projecting further decline for 2015/16. Our preliminary budget for 2014/15 was based on 3,786 students and we put in place enough teacher staffing for that many students.  When this school year started our actual enrolment was only around 3,700 but we did not reduce teacher staffing even though we had almost 80 fewer students. Now for 2015/16 we are projecting about 3,667 students and will allocate teacher staffing accordingly.

Based on what we already know for 2015/16, we have made a number of operational adjustments which have reduced our initial draft budget deficit projection from $590,000 down to just over $350,000. The big unknown which remains is what our district will be required to save in addition to this $350,000 as part of the overall administrative savings.

In an effort to be transparent, we are releasing a long list of various options still being considered to help balance the budget. We recognize that the list is far reaching. We also are very sensitive to the fact that many of the items on the list impact employee’s livelihoods. Our desire today is to inform you about some ways the board is considering to balance the budget. No decisions have been made.

Over the next two months the board will continue conversations with the district parent advisory council, Kootenay Columbia Teachers Union, and CUPE representatives as well as the management team.

On Wednesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kootenay-Columbia Learning Centre’s Trail campus (formerly known as Trail Middle School) a public presentation of the proposed balanced 2015/16 budget will be made.

No decisions will be made that evening. The public board discussion on the budget’s second reading is scheduled for Monday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at the same location as part of the regular board meeting. The third and final reading (which does not include debate) is on Friday, May 1 at 5 p.m.

The various items being considered to help balance the budget can be found appended to this letter below.

The top of the document highlights the current projected deficit, followed by a number of operational adjustments based on what we already know. The board will need to decide which items, from all the various options listed or other items that come up between now and the end of April, it will need to implement in order to balance the budget.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with trustees or attend the public meetings.  The board would like to hear your thoughts on what is most important to you about your child’s education, ideas you might have to save money or generate funds.  You can provide input to the board via a brief survey on the district website. Another option is you can share your thoughts with our district parent advisory council. Chair Rebecca McDonnell, a parent from Kinnaird Elementary, can be reached at dpac@sd20.bc.ca

Greg Luterbach

Superintendent

Kootenay Columbia schools

 

March 4 2015 – Public Long List of Potential Means to Balance the Budget

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Most Read