Kamloops school district increased budget confirmed due to enrolment spike
(BRENDAN KERGIN / iNFOnews.ca)
December 23, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - The Kamloops area school district is getting more than a $1 million to help cover the costs of an unexpected spike in enrolment.
As of the cut off date for official enrolment, School District 73 had 162 new students. The province funds districts at about $7,200 a student, district treasurer Kelvin Stretch says, meaning School District 73 got $1.17 million more than last year's budget to cover the increase.
“Basically we have to provide services for all the additional students,” he says. “In September, once we were firming up enrolment we had to add teachers to deal with the additional students.”
This school year’s budget was a difficult one for the district to balance because enrolment was actually expected to decline by more than 300 students. Additionally, the province mandated all districts cut from their administrative budget for the 2016-17 year, but reversed the decision in June.
Stretch says the district is putting the majority of extra money towards teachers, but also to potentially keep items originally cut from this school year such as a training position for the software MyEducation B.C.
“It’s training to make sure teachers are getting the most out of the software,” he says.
The enrolment spike was a surprise to the district, which had consistently declining numbers in recent years. Stretch says it's the first time in nearly 20 years the district has seen back-to-back years of growth.
Now that the money has been confirmed for the district, Stretch says a final budget will be put together and finalized in February.
“We will sit down now with the funding,” he says. “And make sure we will allocate it where it needs to go.”
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