Funding stable, costs up as school district presents budget

  • Apr. 11, 2011 2:00 p.m.

There were few surprises as the school board presented its draft, preliminary budget at the first of its two public consultation meetings in Masset April 6. The board is expecting $9.7 million from the province for the school year 2011-12, exactly the same as the current year. But that doesn’t mean no cuts, as expenditures continue to rise. “Even though we get the same funding, without making any cuts, we couldn’t break even,” Secretary/Treasurer Ken Campbell told the nine people who attended. Next year, there will be 2.3 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers fewer in the district, support staff will be reduced 2.28 FTE, board office staff will be reduced .8 FTE, while benefits will increase 1 percent, and cost of supplies and maintenance will go up as well. “For this (coming) year, we are lucky,” Mr. Campbell said, “because our new Premier Christy Clark said that not one district should lose funding.” This provides the board with an extra $365,000 it likely won’t get again. The district continues to lose students, and the province bases funding on student numbers. This year, there are 664 students in islands’ schools, and the board is projecting 18 fewer next year. “As our enrolment declines, our teachers decline as well,” Mr. Campbell said. A chart he presented showed 45 teachers in the district this year and 43 next year, down from just under 60 ten years ago. The pupil teacher ratio is expected to be 14.9 district-wide next year, up from 14.1 this year and 13.9 in 2009-10. Budget highlights, according to documents made public by the board, include no salary increases for teachers or support staff, an increase in $60,500 to cover teacher increment costs (where the longer a teacher works, the more he or she makes), an increase of $42,000 to cover higher utility costs, a decrease of $13,000 on vehicle leasing, an increase of $15,000 to cover the trustee election in November and an increase of $15,000 for maintenance supplies. The board plans to spend $7.3 million on instruction, $639,000 on administration (board office and trustees), $1.6 million on operations and maintenance and $478,000 on transportation and housing.The district’s total budget for next year is projected to be $10,286,736, when money from the band councils and grant money is added in.The board will present the finalized budget when it meets in May, then adopt it in June. It has to be sent to Victoria by the end of June.

Just Posted

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

PHOTO GALLERY: Masset takes off on Terry Fox Run

More than $1,000 raised for Terry Fox Foundation

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

Most Read