Central Okanagan school district may 'break even' with costs and savings during pandemic - InfoNews

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Central Okanagan school district may 'break even' with costs and savings during pandemic

May 18, 2020 - 6:30 AM

The Central Okanagan school district anticipates it will "break even" after accruing costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he also expects there will be savings.

The province requires school districts to track costs and savings related to the pandemic, school district secretary treasurer Ryan Stierman said.

“We are in the process of doing so, but right now it’s too soon to do. Our (financial) year end is June 30 so we will have some more solid numbers then,” Stierman said.

The school district will lose some revenue it would normally acquire during this time, like revenue from pre-school and after-school programs that would normally lease facilities, from gym rentals, from the international education program and some investment income due to rates being reduced to keep the economy afloat.

It will save money in other areas like with the teachers-on call — who are not currently working — professional development costs and supplies. Utility costs along with fuel and maintenance costs for buses will also be lower than normal.

“We are going to see additional costs related to COVID. So we obviously have an increase in illness costs due to people having to isolate… we have been staffing our learning service programs for essential service workers,” he said, adding “our custodial supplies have definitely increased and we’ve increased our cost to operate our food program as we’ve had to move to a delivery-based system.”

Central Okanagan school district staff are also working on “fair and equitable” recommendations for parents who paid fees, but didn’t use the services, like transportation, due to COVID-19, Stierman said.

“That decision will definitely be put to the board of education,” he said, adding that at this point, the recommendations are still in the works.

The total budget for the 2019/2020 school year is $276 million.

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