Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Budget decisions dominate SD52's April Board meeting review

School District 52 outlined some of the background on the path to a balanced budget at this month's School Board meeting with the Board of Education adopting its financial plan for the year ahead as part of their April 10th meeting.

In the notes related to their financial moves, Board Chair Tina Last observed of the challenges the School Board faced in working towards its budget, but offered few details on where the difficult choices required to complete the budget process took place.

"In approving the budget, the Board made a number of very difficult choices ... Money has been reallocated  to areas which will help the district achieve its vision and mission - helping each student to successfully complete their educational program"

When it comes to the numbers, SD52 will head into the 2018-19 education year with an Operating budget that reflects a surplus of $585,1000 or about 2.3% of the budget as a reserve to address any future operational issues.

The Surplus Policy provides that the Board carry a contingency that maintains between 2 and 4 percent of the operating budget,. With a total available surplus of $1,148,000 the remaining $562,900 was used to help balance the budget.

In order to balance their budget, SD 52 has made spending reductions totalling $719,300, while ongoing and one-time spending of $455,200 was approved.

The total expenses included in the approved Operating Budget are listed at $25,861,000.

Of that operating budget, the majority of the money will be used for salaries, with the draft document from the April 10th Agenda noting that Total Salaries and Benefits for SD52 come to just over 22 and half million dollars, leaving the rest for the remaining services and supplies for District operations.

The SD52 Budget process for this year included a number of public engagement sessions held earlier this year to gain the feedback of parents, students and educators as to the direction that the School District should consider in crafting its financial plans for the Board.

The Board of Education also approved its 2018-19 Capital bylaw, which approved $1,130,000 in capital funds for repairs to the roof, boilers and the electrical system at Prince Rupert Middle School.

The Board noted that the repairs are critical to ensure the continued safe and comfortable operations of the Middle School. In their review of their April meeting, the Board also outlined that the School District continues to work with the Ministry of Education as they seek a replacement of the school for the long term.

The April 10th meeting also featured a presentation from some of the participants in the recent student trip to Spain and Morocco.

Charles Hays Secondary School counsellor and teacher Mikael Russel along with students Chloe Chemko and Seji Sahdra provided the background notes for the Board members from the CHSS trip.

The group outlined a synopsis of their travels,  observing on the architecture of the region along with their thoughts on the poverty that the people who live there face, they made note of how the experience gave those that were in the travelling party an understanding of the larger world.

The Board Chair observed as to the benefit of the overseas travel that Charles Hays Students have opportunity to take and the lessons that they can learn from them.

"The Board was highly entertained by the stories from Chloe and Seji on their overseas adventure ... More importantly, the value of these trips is clear in the way they open our student's eyes to our global community and help to become the 'Educated Citizen' which is the goal of the public education system"

You can review more of the School Board's notes on the April 10th meeting here.

For more items of interest related to School District 52 see our archive page here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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