June 02, 2016 - 8:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - Cuts ordered by the Ministry of Education are back in the school district budget for the next school year.
Earlier this week the province announced the $25 million in administration cuts would not have to be paid and for Kamloops-Thompson School District that means roughly $678,000 is back in the coffers for the 2016-2017 school year, Supt. Karl deBruijn says.
“It’s basically the administrative savings we were mandated to cut,” he says. “It is an unusual way of doing it.”
DeBruijn believes the ministry mandated the cuts before they realized many districts had already made cuts to administration costs on their own, noting pressure from education organizations likely helped the decision.
"From my perspective it’s an unusual way to do business," he says. “I’m just pleased to have that $678,000.”
The school district had already made cuts to its upcoming school year budget and has not had a chance to allocate the money yet.
DeBruijn notes there is a caveat with the money, because the district doesn’t know if the cuts will return next year. This means the district is not looking to put the money into ongoing programs and will likely into one time purchases instead.
He says they will look at areas which were cut deeply, in case those cuts were too deep. One example is the fuel budget, which covers propane to heat some schools and gas for school busses, and may grow if there’s a cold winter or jump in gas prices.
Courses on the chopping block due to low student interest may still be dropped but the new money may be used to run the programs another year before that happens. That decision is more dependent on enrolment though, deBruijn says.
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