Greater Victoria School district drafts needs-based budget

Budget exercise to demonstrate spending gaps in education

Greater Victoria School District trustees haven’t taken the same stand as their counterparts in Cowichan, but they have made new moves toward restoring education funding by identifying exactly where their balanced budget falls short – and by how much.

Unlike in Cowichan, where trustees face the threat of termination since having submitted a deficit budget to the Ministry of Education, Greater Victoria trustees passed a balanced budget submitted to the ministry in April.

But the SD 61’s $171-million operating budget is likely not the only budget they’ll submit this year.

On Monday night (June 11) members of the board’s operations, policy and planning committee unanimously passed a second budget that identifies the need for an additional $48,463,915 to meet the educational needs of students.

The needs budget provides a detailed breakdown of the actual costs associated with district’s needs – from staffing to supplies – as identified by school planning councils and community members throughout the school year.

“It’s what the community thinks is necessary,” said board of education chairperson Peg Orcherton. “This is from the community … and we’re hopeful to start using it as a basis in our (2012-13) budget deliberations, as the realities of what we can propose.”

The budget advisory committee will present the document to the board of education for approval at the June 18 meeting before it can be sent to Education Minister George Abbott.

In an accompanying draft letter to Abbott, Orcherton outlines four key factors that contributed to the need: insufficient funding for special needs students; consumer prices and cost of living increases, coupled with expanded mandates of the education system; partially-funded provincial labour settlements; and loss of funding due to enrolment declines.

In the past, the board has submitted a “restorative budget” document, based on 2001 operational costs and funding. The restorative budget focused strictly on the cuts made in the previous decade and didn’t take into account declining enrolment and school closures.

The question of whether or not to submit the needs based budget in lieu of a balanced budget for 2012-13, is one trustees will encounter again in September when the planning process begins.

“That would be quite a lengthy discussion and debate, I would expect, but it does show from the community’s perspective, what the needs are,” Orcherton said, adding that the 2012-13 budget will be especially difficult for a number of factors.

Among those considerations are the board’s spending of a one-time $349,541 surplus this spring and the ministry’s decision to freeze funding for three years without taking into account increases in operational costs.

 

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man arrested after speeding to Victoria court date for driving offence

West Shore RCMP remind drivers to be mindful of construction zones

Victoria police seek suspects in series of bear spray attacks

Police responded to several calls Saturday evening

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

Proposed Sidney cannabis store wins favour with public, businesses

Of 348 received submissions, 311 favour cannabis store proposed for 2400-block of Beacon Avenue

Victoria police make arrest in Centennial Square stabbing

One man was left with non-life-threatening injuries Saturday morning

No safe mask option for bearded members, RCMP says, but force is exploring solutions

RCMP says respirator not mandatory in all front-line situations, but sometimes needed to reduce risk

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

SOOKE HISTORY: Alleged bootlegger has day in court

Blackberry wine confiscated at home

Most Read