SD20 settles funding shortfall for programs

Budget cuts to the youth at risk programs for three Greater Trail schools won't be as deep as originally thought.

Three community schools are breathing a sigh of relief after budget cuts to their youth at risk programs weren’t as deep as originally thought.

At a June board meeting, School District 20 (SD20) superintendent Greg Luterbach revealed a $19,000 budget shortfall in the CommunityLINK program, jeopardizing child and youth at risk programs based out of Webster Elementary, Robson Elementary and Blueberry Creek Community School (BCCS).

After much back and forth on numbers, the board ultimately decided to allocate its $80,000 budget three ways: $40,000 to Robson Elementary; $20,000 to BCCS; and $20,000 to Columbia Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) based out of Webster Elementary.

“We are thankful for the school district’s support and look forward to maintaining that partnership in the years to come,” said Desneiges Profili, for Trail CBAL.

“Funding will come and go but it is the partnership that will help to ensure the growth of strong and resilient communities for all our children and families.

Over the past few years, in exchange for provision of programming, the three schools received SD20 funds based on an annual contractual basis, said Natalie Verigin, secretary-treasurer.

With the depletion of surplus funds the contracts could no longer be sustained, she added.

“The board had to make some decisions to best allocate the funds and meet the Ministry of Education CommunityLINK policy,” said Verigin.

“These included support programs and services that improve the educational performance, academic achievement and social functioning of the district’s vulnerable students.”