The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District has its 2018-19 budget in place for final approval next month.
Official trustee Mike McKay last night gave the green light to a set of budget adjustments that will lead to a balanced budget.
“if there’s a dollar on the table, where’s it going. It should be going to students to provide services, everything from mental health to early literacy to support for our indigenous learners of course and to building staff capacity.”
Revenues are expected to increase by 2.8 million dollars for the next school year, much of that due to enrolment growth and increases in funding to offset the costs of negotiated salary and benefit costs for teachers and CUPE staff.
Taking increases in enrolment into account, along with an outdoor learning program and other cost pressures, there was still 600 thousand dollars to spread around for various improvements.
“We did identify a number of budget enhancements, again around things like literacy, numeracy and support for vulnerable students, increased people in the right places.”
McKay there were about five million dollars worth of requests and suggestions on what to do with the extra funds.
He says it’s an impossible task to meet all those requests.
“What we needed to do was prioritize and appropriately fund, but it’s such a struggle because every compelling case you say yeah that’s the one , there’s something else that you would say yeah that’s the one.”
After much deliberation, staff recommended, and McKay approved, a $128,914 increase to school supply allocations, $38,732 increase to add .4 FTE to occupational therapist/physiotherapist time, $81,232 to the Inclusive Support Program (ISP) for additions to teaching and prep time, $4,000 to cover transportation costs related to early dismissal of students for the report card initiative, $242,787 for Instructional Learning Team(ILT) to fully implement the new curriculum, $38,732 for .4 FTE teacher for Sexual Health/SOGI Lead, $96,830 for SPARK Program at Pleasant Valley Secondary.
Also accepted was an increase of $17,214 to the substitute/replacement budget, an increase of $19,000 went to services and supplies to address increases in annual software licensing costs and to assist schools with school fee hardships, $8,000 was added to clerical time, $5,000 was added to the HR budget to provide a relocation allowance, $5,000 was added to technology to address increases in software licensing, $50,000 was added to snow removal budget, $10,000 to operations supplies and
materials, $80,000 for a painter, and $14,000 for a custodial lead hand.
McKay says it’s expected there will be some level of surplus from money not spent this year and that will be looked at in the fall to see of that can be diverted to programs that didn’t make the cut in the budget.
The budget goes for final adoption to the next meeting June 19th.
The 2018-19 annual facilities grant received three readings and approval at the meeting on Tuesday.
The $1,654,113 will be used on various projects throughout the school district including $60,000 to level, plant and re-build the playing field at Eagle River after the geo system was installed, $175,000 to pave the parking lot at North Shuswap, $30,000 to install an irrigation system at Silver Creek, $210,00 on roofing projects at Parkview and South Canoe, $100,000 for welding and forge exhaust system at Eagle River Secondary, $120,000 for exterior upgrading at Carlin , and $130,000 technology infrastructure at South Canoe. There will also be smaller projects including asbestos abatement at various sites, fire alarm upgrades at various sites and testing for lead in the water.