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Board of Trustees approve 2014-2015 budget

Wed, 25 Jun, 2014

News: Board of Trustees approve 2014-2015 budget

At yesterday's public board meeting, Trustees approved the budget for the upcoming school year, which includes more than 100 new teaching positions and ensuring all elementary schools have security cameras.

The board approved the $1 billion budget at its Tuesday afternoon meeting, noting enrolment is expected to increase by more than 2,200 students to 88,793 children this fall. The District has maintained the same funding per student so this is considered a status quo budget. Highlights of the budget include:

  • Overall, the District increased its budget by about $38 million from last year, using almost $14 million of its own surplus operating reserves to meet its budget
  • More funding for K-9 instruction and smaller class sizes in Grades 1 – 3, which are in part affected by a dramatic increase of 1,328 students in elementary
  • The District will hire an additional 339 employees which includes 118 full-time equivalent teaching positions and 202 support staff positions
  • $750,000 is being set aside to install security cameras at all elementary schools
  • $500,000 increase in funding for staff development due to additional professional development days in the pilot District Calendar Project
  • The District continued to trim costs for system administration and school board governance – trimming $114,000 from this area for 2014-2015
  • A new $4.8 million equity fund to support students

“The increased budget is due to higher student enrollment,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “More students is a good thing, but it takes more resources to meet their needs. This isn’t a good news budget, it’s a status quo budget. We are a long way from where we were two years ago in terms of provincial government funding.”