Friday, April 15, 2016

SD52 adopts 2016-17 Budget with a number of cuts

The Board of Education at School District 52 adopted their financial plan for 2016-17 on Tuesday evening, approving a budget that delivers a number of cost cutting measures to address the Board's deficit issues, while also targeting a reserve to address future operational issues.

Reductions were made in a number of administrative areas, along with cuts to teaching positions and support staff duties. Also included as part of the cost cutting are reductions in the use of speech language assistance and that of an occupational therapist.

As part of the financial reduction plan, operational savings were also found by eliminating both the bus transportation service in the region as well as ferry service to Metlakatla.

Those two areas for cost reduction items provided for much of the focus of the lead up to the Budget process, with the School District conducting a survey earlier this year that for the most part telegraphed that those two services were among the items at the top of their list for elimination.

Board Chair Tina Last noted that School District is not obligated to provide transportation for students as part of their mandate towards delivering education on the North Coast.

Some of the proposed reductions were outlined in a presentation to the Board (a link to the PowerPoint presentation is available on the SD52 website).

A look at some of the key elements of those  notes can be found below:

In a media release following Tuesday's meeting, Board Chair Tina Last noted the difficult decisions that was faced by the Board and offered up a hopeful suggestion that the prospect of increased enrolment in the future could mean that the need for further significant reductions will be reduced.

“The Board appreciates the hard work and input of staff across the district to enable a balanced budget,” .. “The Board has made some very difficult decisions that will impact many district employees. We look forward to increasing enrolment in future years that will minimize the likelihood of making further significant reductions.”

The Board's Total Operating Expenses for 2016-17 are listed at $26,046,000.00, the breakdown on what goes into that Total amount can be reviewed below:

The School District provided a copy of the Approved Budget Worksheet changes to the SD52 website, it provides a snapshot of many of the areas of interest that the Board reviewed as part of their decision.

More background on the budget process and other issues related to School District 52 can be found on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

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