School District 50 has to find ways to save over $600,000 for the next school year, it announced Thursday (March 25).
The budget shortfall was predicted to be as high as $800,000, but the actual shortfall, while much less, will still involve tough decisions, including staff cuts, as the board’s total budget is $8.76-million.
Funding from the province next year will drop $200,000, and the board has also spent its $423,000 ‘cushion’, a surplus accumulated over several years. Net result, a shortfall of $623,000.
The province is going to spend more per student next year, but enrolment in the district continues to shrink, meaning less money available. This year there are 948 students enrolled, while next year, that number is predicted to drop to 810.
As staffing costs account for about 80-percent of the district’s budget, “staff cuts will play a major roll in reconciling the budget discrepancy,” according to the district.
The budget process is well underway and there will be further announcements as plans are finalized, according to the district. Board chair Andreas Uttendorfer encourages all parents and stakeholders to participate in the upcoming budget consultation meetings in most, which start Monday in Sandspit.
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