The Board of Education will consider the 2017-2018 operating budget at a Special Budget Board meeting Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend and are welcome to share their thoughts about the budget.
“Developing an effective budget that supports the development of a world-class public education system is one of the most important responsibilities that we have as a Board and all of us take it very seriously,” noted Board of Education Chair Edith Loring-Kuhanga. “We are making strategic investments in our schools that benefit student learning, now and into the future.”
Highlights of Proposed Budget:
- A budget of $192.3 million is proposed for the 2017-2018 year.
- Increased student enrolment, increased revenues and reducing budgets in underspent areas have reduced the projected operating deficit from $5.9 million to $4.1 million for the 2017-2018 school year. The Board of Education had planned for the budget shortfall and set aside funding to address this deficit.
- $15 million is included for supporting smaller class sizes and composition. The District is actively recruiting approximately 160 teachers (140 FTE) and 30 temporary teachers on call to support the increased number of classes.
Allocations being considered by the Board of Education:
- $625,000 for portables to support childcare spaces, field upgrades and gym upgrades, as well as Facilities leadership positions to oversee school maintenance and building systems.
- $400,000 to provide support for teachers to implement the expansion of student devices (e.g. iPad’s, Chromebooks).
- Up to $400,000 to provide improved space and supplies for inclusive learning. These funds will provide greater flexibility for supporting varying student needs.
- Up to $400,000 to expand the Technology for Learning Strategy, introducing projectors and laptops in libraries and non-classroom spaces.
- Up to $400,000 to support school shops, including safety and ventilation upgrades.
- Up to $500,000 for environmental upgrades to our heating systems to improve efficiency.
- Up to $500,000 to apply to the 2018-2019 deficit which is expected to be in the range of $4.1-$4.6 million.
Increased rental rates for facilities, gyms and out of school child care spaces are proposed, and the Operations Policy and Planning Committee is recommending that the Board of Education increase the rates. Current rates do not cover the costs of maintaining the spaces at the appropriate levels. The increased funds will be reinvested in these spaces.
The Greater Victoria School District is proud to provide quality education for approximately 19,000 students in 27 elementary schools, 10 middle Schools, and seven secondary schools. Each year, over 650 adult learners register with our Continuing Education Program. The District also offers a variety of programs of choice and two elementary schools of choice.
For the agenda of the upcoming Special Budget Board Meeting please visit: https://www.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2017/04/Special-Board-Budget-Meeting_Packup_Apr-19-2017-1.pdf