April 03, 2014 - 9:37 AM
VERNON - Balancing the Vernon school district budget is going to have an impact on operations, says the board chair.
School District 22 is facing a $1.5 million shortfall for the 2014-2015 school year, owing largely to financial responsibilities imposed by the Ministry of Education, states a news release issued by the district Tuesday.
Board chair Bill Turanski said meeting the costs will affect student programs and services.
The shortfall is part of a trend spanning many years. In the past 14 years, the school district has had to trim its operating budget by more than $15 million. Some reductions were the direct result of declining enrollment since schools are funded on a per student basis. But the district says there’s more at work than declining enrollment.
The press release states “many new financial commitments that have been agreed to by the Ministry of Education are not sufficiently funded,” one example being the CUPE Collective Agreement.
Over the past three years alone, the board has had to cut expenses by over $5 million. These cutbacks translated as the reduction of 33 teacher positions, two administrator positions and two support staff positions. It also meant a $300,000 reduction in school and district supply budgets.
For the 2014-2015 year, the district needs to find dollars for the following increased costs: $440,000 for the CUPE agreement; $91,000 in increased municipal pension costs, $25,000 in upped WCB costs, $135,000 in climbing B.C. Hydro rates, and $232,000 in raised benefit costs for CUPE and teachers. No additional funding for any of these costs is provided by the Ministry.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014