Friday, May 15, 2020

SD52 makes close to $478,000 in Spending Reductions to reach balanced budget

School District 52 trustees have sharpened their pencils and made close to 478,000 in spending cuts for the 2020 budget, with much of the budget parsing coming out of travel budgets, maintenance plans, areas of Health and Safety budgeting and supplies in order to bring their financial plan into balance for this year.

The spending reductions were announced this week, as part of the review for the May 12th School Board meeting.

The 2020-21 Annual Budget reflects a reserve of $396,500 or 1.5% of the budget as a contingency to address any future operation issues, the Surplus policy provides that a contingency should be maintained at between 2 and 4 per cent of the Operation budget.

The total amount of spending reductions came to $477,900 with the Total Expenses in the approved Operating budget now stated as $26,675,000.

In announcing the budget, School Board Chair James Horne made note of the challenges that this years budget planning had provided for:

“The Board faced a difficult challenge to address the needs of our students within a balanced budget. The Board worked very hard to ensure that these budget cuts minimized any direct impact on students.”

Among the spending reductions that were announced were:

OH&S Budget $100,000
District Extra-Curricular Travel Support $10,000
Trustee Travel & Pro-D $34,400
Recruitment Travel $35,000
Lester Centre $26,000
School Supplies $42,500
Maintenance Supplies $95,000
Equipment $37,000
Roosevelt Second Secretary $8,000
Architects $40,000
Utilities $50,000

Lax Keen Elementary has been the host facility for the
COVID related Essential Service Workers program

The May 12th Board Meeting, which took place remotely using the Zoom video conference platform,  also offered up a look at the Essential Service Worker Education Care Program that is currently in place at Lax Kxeen Elementary.

Principal Susan Kobza provided an overview of the Education Care Program the district is providing for children of Essential Service Workers. The program provides a mix of educational and physical activities, making great use of the outdoor areas near the school.

As part of her presentation for the Board, Ms. Kobza made note of the dedication and care of district staff, and in particular of the Education Assistants who provide care before and after school, have made this program a success.

Mr. Horne expressed the thanks of the Board for those who have contributed to the success of the program to date.

“The Board is very thankful for all staff who have contributed to the success of this program. Our community’s ability to operate is dependent on the support for our families that programs like this provide.”

The May meeting also hosted an update on the School District response to COVID-19, as well as to announce the re-appointment of Carlyle, Shepherd and Company as the auditors for the School Districts Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2020.

You can review the SD52 background piece on the May meeting here.

For more notes related to Education across the Northwest see our archive page here.

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