Trustees adopted their annual budget on May 12 for a total of $39,976,565 for the coming school year.
The budget breakdown shows $27.9 million being paid for instruction in the coming school year, $1.8 million for administration, $4.5 million for operations and maintenance and about $1 million for transportation.
Trustee Dave Mewhort thanked secretary treasurer Nicholas Weswick for the “tremendous amount of work” he undertook to consult with stakeholders and create a balanced budget within the cost pressures School District No. 46 (SD46) is facing.
The full budget is available online at www.sd46.bc.ca, though it may change depending on the actual school enrolment numbers in the fall.
The Ministry of Education recently announced school districts would be distributed some held-back operating funds to cover the cost of setting up a new provincial Next Generation Network (NGN). However, SD46 will likely have to foot the bill itself.
The NGN is a network that will increase Internet connectivity for students, and it’s slated to be implemented at Coast schools this fall.
Weswick reported at the May 12 school board meeting that although the funding for the network was promised, SD46 is in “funding protection” due to lower than normal enrolment and may not see any additional money from the Ministry of Education this year.
“Funding protection guarantees a specific minimum funding level, but when the added revenue for the operating fund holdback is released, the funding protection grant will be reduced by the same amount,” Weswick reported.
“As a result, SD46 will likely have an added cost, with no revenue to offset it.”
He noted the school district plans to use up its remaining surplus of $95,000 plus some restricted funds to pay for the estimated $100,678 NGN bill.
Educators from around B.C. came to the Coast recently to learn about Social and Emotional Learn-ing (SEL) from local educators versed in the subject.
Community schools joined together to host the forum, which trustees called “the best one yet.”
Trustee Lori Pratt noted she was impressed with the breadth of experience local educators have on the topic.
“I think we’re seen as a leader in SEL,” Weswick commented.
Trustee Lori Dixon noted the topic of SEL was the number one thing that came up when she last spoke with students.
“It’s about not just getting ready for university but getting ready for life,” Dixon said.
The school board released a draft copy of their strategic plan on May 12. The plan stresses “excellence throughout,” school board chair Betty Baxter said.
The draft plan is currently on the www.sd46.bc.ca website and the school board will take comments from the public on it this month. Trustees plan to bring the plan back to their June meeting to make any adjustments needed before it’s adopted and launched in September.