School district 20 – Board faces tough task of reining in budget

School district board of trustees grapple with their shrinking budget.

Teaching staff could be one of the areas the school district board of trustees makes cuts to for next year as they grapple with how to rein in costs for a shrinking budget.

Nearly every facet of the school district operation is currently being laid open as less funding is expected to come from the province for next year’s budget — around $600,000 — prompting School District 20’s board of education to consider how they will do more with less.

Prior to getting into an in-camera discussion about potential cuts to custodial, transportation and secretarial Wednesday night at Blueberry Creek Community School, the board heard from the Kootenay Columbia Teachers Union and CUPE along with the District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) on where they saw education going.

At this time, the board has only announced a vague list of areas where cuts could be made while it continues to make a record of potential savings behind closed doors.

Board chair Darrel Ganzert says all school district functions and areas are under review, including: administration, clerical staffing, custodial services, facilities and teacher staffing, libraries, services and supplies, sick leave, technology, trustees and transportation.

“We’ve generated, for lack of a better term, an evil list and some things are just so outrageous that we’re not going to consider them as a board but we put them down on paper anyway,” said Ganzert Thursday.

“We’re going through this big huge list and we’re eliminating the most evil, most unworkable, most impractical and then we’ll have a list that could possibly work and then we’ll seek union and public comment and then decide on a budget at some time in the future.”

The cuts were first discussed Feb. 27 with senior district staff present to pinpoint some initial areas of consideration.

After several closed meetings, the board will present its final recommendations to the union and DPAC April 12 with a public meeting shortly after.

The school district faces a potential funding shortfall of approximately $1.4 million in the coming year due to cutbacks from the Ministry of Education’s funding formula and a declining school enrollment rate across the district.

The district is considering areas for possible revenue generation, but those are very limited, Ganzert admitted. The board lacks the power of taxation and depends almost entirely on operating grants and targeted funding from the Ministry of Education, he said.

The shortfall prediction and the possible cuts could still be affected after the school district receives its funding announcement from the Ministry of Education when spring break concludes in two weeks.


Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Most Read