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Vernon School District budget: What will be cut, what will be gained

School District 22
May 08, 2015 - 4:34 PM

VERNON - Three vice-principal positions are among the cuts being made at local schools to help balance next year’s budget.

School District 22 announced what’s being kept, and what’s being cut, as part of the 2015/2016 budget in a media release.

Three vice-principal positions, one each at J.W. Inglis, Hillview and Coldstream Elementary, will not be refilled in September. The district says there will be no layoffs as a result, and $75,000 will be saved.

The district is also rolling out transportation savings of $50,000 in the Lumby area which will involve enforcement of the district’s walk-limit. 

A further $100,000 is being saved with a 10 per cent reduction in the school supplies budget, which will be reversed if hoped for funding comes through in December.

The board also dipped into its reserve fund for another $950,000.

“We’re looking at another $400,000 cut in funding for 2016/17. This, on top of our current operating deficit of $950,000, means big changes will be needed going into the 2016/17 school year for the district to remain financially sustainable," acting secretary-treasurer Adrian Johnson said.

Meanwhile, there are some improvements being added into the system this year, including an information technology help desk position, the re-introduction of a millwright position and six more educational assistants, among other enhancements.

2015/2016 BUDGET BREAKDOWN (provided by Vernon School District)

Improvements:

- 1.4 FTE total increase in dedicated curriculum teachers, distributed among technology education, numeracy support and career teaching, paid for by specific Provincial funding. 
- An information technology helpdesk position and IT manager to provide the support and leadership needed to align our technology structure with educational needs. ($200,000) 
- The re-introduction of a millwright position to keep the District’s aging infrastructure operational and safe. ($85,000) 
- Six more educational assistants to meet the anticipated increase in numbers of students with additional support needs. ($200,000) 
- A dedicated ‘suspension room’ to provide a constructive learning environment for students temporarily suspended from their school, increasing their chances of success in the education system. ($100,000) 
- Well-deserved wage increases for management (including Principals and Vice-Principals), who have not received a wage increase since 2009. This can only happen if the Provincial Government lifts the ‘freeze’ on management staff increases that has been in place since 2009. ($134,000) 
- Well-deserved wage and benefit increases for teachers and support staff ($1.9m), as negotiated in the labour settlement agreement 

Cuts:

- The removal of the Vice-Principal position at JW Inglis, Hillview and Coldstream Elementary schools. ($75,000) This will be achieved by not filling some Vice-Principal positions in certain schools within the School District that will become vacant at the end of this school year. No staff will be laid-off as a result of this. 
- Implementation of the third phase of the transportation changes in the Lumby area, implementing the District recommended walk-limit. ($50,000) 
- A 10% reduction in the school supplies budget, which will be reversed should hoped-for additional funding become available in December. ($100,000) 

Administrative cost-saving measures: 

- A one-time saving of approximately $100,000 in legal fees through adopting a shared-service model. 
- About $50,000 of extra interest revenue earned through more effective management of the District’s cash. 
- About $100,000 realized through the sale of unused information technology hardware. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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