School board could be facing money crunch

Budget issues were among the topics trustees discussed at the last board meeting for SD51.

Provincial budget

 

Cuts to education are eventually going to hit classrooms, says Rezansoff, who is also the president of the B.C. School Trustees Association (BCSTA).

The budget was announced during the throne speech on Feb. 17 and includes a $29 million cut for the next school year. It also includes a further $25 million cut the following year.

“Overall, the increase that came to the education budget primarily are dollars that will be going towards funding the negotiated settlement with teachers and our support staff, primarily CUPE but all support staff, and the increase that was negotiated for the learning improvement plans,” said Rezansoff. “What is also happening is that government is requesting boards to cut administration spending. It’s $29 million reduction this coming year and $25 million more next year. So that’s $54 million and another $54 the following year. That’s $147 million over three years.”

Rezansoff said that the cuts equal about 7.6 per cent. “It’s a significant amount to try to cut when essentially those are the areas we always go to first when tightening up our budgets rather than going into our classrooms.”

Rezansoff said it will be tough for the board to make more cuts to administration considering, “we’ve already cut as lean and as tight to the bone as we possibly could. It’s going to be a very big hardship to boards.”

Amended bylaw

 

There are no surprises in the amended budget bylaw for school district 51, says board chair Teresa Rezansoff. At the school board meeting on Feb. 10 in Grand Forks, trustees voted to agree to give the amended budget bylaw all three readings.

“We passed our budget back in June of 2014,” explained Rezansoff. “The amended budget in February is just the reconciliation of everything. It just shows a more accurate picture of where we’re at.”

Overall revenues are down from $16,975,465 in the earlier budget to $16,819,818 in the amended budget, while expenses are also down from $17,750,554 (earlier budget) to $17,585,946 (amended budget).

The net expense is down from $775,089 to $766,128. The total budget bylaw amount in the amended annual budget is $17,947,946 down from the earlier budget at $18,022,554.