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Kamloops Thompson school district off to a better financial start than expected

Compared to projections at the end of last year, things are looking up for the Kamloops-Thompson School District. Not only is enrollment up, new teachers have been hired and the district is operating with a budget surplus.
October 02, 2015 - 1:00 PM

KAMLOOPS – Compared to projections at the end of last year, things are looking up for the Kamloops-Thompson School District.

Not only is enrollment up, new teachers have been hired and the district is operating with a budget surplus.

Currently the district has 185 more students registered than what was projected at the end of last year, and it is has a surplus of roughly $1.2 million.

“We’re far better off than forecast. We were projected to be down,” Superintendent of Schools Karl de Bruijn says, adding they were expecting to be down by 386 students or essentially one whole elementary school worth of kids.

The school board has a complicated formula to project student numbers. The variables involved include last year’s kindergarten enrollment, Grade 12 graduates and factors like the Canadian birth rate. The number of students determine how much the district gets in funding from the province.

De Bruijn says official enrollment numbers were required by the province on September 30, but due to a glitch in tracking software, the deadline has been postponed. Regardless, the district believes they have an accurate picture of elementary numbers.

“Because we’re confident with the elementary students we’ve added 10 additional teachers,” he says.

Figuring out secondary numbers is a more complicated process. A full time secondary student is counted by blocks of time or by subject.

“The dust will settle within a week or two,” de Bruijn explains.

While the district is currently operating with budget surplus of roughly $1.2 million, he explains this number may seem higher than it actually is.

De Bruijn says $1.2 million is less than one per cent of the district’s total operating budget. There might be money left in their pockets at the end of the year, but he says the district is “cutting things pretty fine.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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