Northwestern B.C. school district cuts budget deficit in half

Coast Mountains school district uses savings sent back by the province

Coast Mountains School District has been able to cut a forecast budget shortfall in half thanks to a move by the provincial government.

That move resulted in the province providing nearly $250,000 to the school district, part of $25 million the province said it was now returning to school districts after telling to come up with overall savings in the past several years.

“Prior to this recently announced relief of $248,728, our 2016-2017 draft preliminary budget working document was showing a deficit of just over $450,000,” said school district secretary-treasurer Alanna Cameron in assessing the situation.

“With the return of these funds, our draft shortfall was reduced significantly.”

The school district still faces, however, a shortfall of approximately $200,000.

Cameron said the budget will not be finalized until June 22, but the preliminary budget prepared by a working group seems to be working out.

“Members were able to provide recommendations as to how costs could be reduced by the $200,000 shortfall in order to come to a balanced budget, without any direct impact on services or programs to students,” she said.

Local teachers union president Cathy Lambright said that the majority of the cuts were in learner support and information technology.

“The budget is just not adequate to run our school district,” Lambright said, adding that every year the school districts have had to struggle with rising costs and budget shortages.

“Costs have gone up, the government has not funded them, and the districts have been told that they have to make do,” Lambright said.

She said that BC Hydro bills, maintenance expenses, salaries for teachers and administrators and trustee remunerations have all gone up.

“I don’t think that there is a better way to deal with the shortfall. Yes, there were a few things that [the union] suggested that were not done,” Lambright said, adding that they tried to focus on things that would not directly affect students.

“We suggested that vice-principals be eliminated in the schools, because we can’t afford them,” she said, adding that teachers suggested the same thing last year.

“Part of the reason for the vice principals is succession planning, but unfortunately the district can’t afford a succession plan at this point in time,” she said.

Teachers also suggested managing data in a new way, and making cuts to distance education, trades administration, and administrator training as ways of coping with less money.

“The board can only do so much with so little,” Lambright said of the situation.






Just Posted

Former resident wins filmmaking award

Veronika Kurz will be able to make her film with $15,000 cash and in-kind services, up to $100,000

Terrace River Kings win CIHL regular season

The boys held a strong enough lead in points to claim the banner after a 15-2 win Saturday

Terrace residents discuss poverty at provincial engagement meeting

80 people were there as well as the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

The UK magazine listed Shames alongside Whistler and hills in Italy, Japan and Austria

Who wants to live here?

Northwest governments partner on marketing plan to attract workforce, residents

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Most Read