16 Apr Cutback Hit for School District Office

April 16, 2010

By: Mike Simmons
Source: Kelowna Capital News

The school district administration would be hit more heavily by cuts than the schools under its care in a preliminary budget outlined for the 2010-11 school year.

School District 23 superintendent Hugh Gloster said the budget is a work in progress for the board, with the final preliminary budget being delivered to the B.C. Ministry of Education on June 30.

Gloster’s report outlines the cuts needed to cope with a $4.7 million projected shortfall.

The proposed reductions would remove $2.35 million from the district budget and $2.34 million from schools.

The largest cuts at the district level include $849,000 from operations, $525,000 from student support services and $271,250 from the office of the superintendent and school board.

District operations cuts would include the reduction of money set aside to replace vehicles.

It also would include cuts to existing positions of maintenance staff, a part-time welder and several custodial staff. Eight hours of bus driver time would also be cut as a result of the reduction in kindergarten runs due to full-day kindergarten.

District student support services cuts would include the elimination of teaching positions due to retirement, reductions in after school literacy and fluency programs and the reduction of the supplies budget.

The superintendent and school board office would see the loss of a part-time communications officer and cuts to various supply and equipment budgets. The office would also see a halving of the illness replacement budget for principals to $122,000 from $244,000. The su perintendent’s budgets for meeting meals and contingencies would be reduced to $55,000.

The district would take a hit on everything from supplies to advertising, conferences, developing curriculum and musical instrument repairs. The school board would see reductions in funds for travel outside the district, meeting expenses and the elimination of memberships in Chambers of Commerce.

Other staff reductions at the district level would include reduced hours for literacy, early learning, numeracy and graduation coordinators. They would also include the chop of an audio/video technology repair position.

“Priority is being given to maintaining the integrity of the educational program in classrooms and to the achievement of our goals and strategic priorities. As such, district-level budgets are taking a far greater proportionate share of the reduction when compared to the schools.”

Gloster noted that the cuts reduce district budgets by four per cent compared to an average of 2.1 per cent reduction in school budgets.

School-based budgets face proposed cuts of $1 million from elementary schools, $400,000 from middle schools and $944,000 from secondary schools in the district.

The cuts would be achieved through reductions in discretionary spending, non-enrolling teacher staffing such as librarians and classroom support and the use of budget surpluses from previous years.

Reductions would also be achieved by eliminating programs with low enrolment.

The budget and staffing arrangements are set to be approved by the school board on April 28, to accommodate a collective agreement requirement of a month’s notice of staff adjustments or layoffs.

The final budget will be reviewed and adopted by the school board in the early spring of 2011.</p&gt ;

Gloster wrote that the preliminary budget proposal is put forward to the board after careful consideration of input from all partner groups as well as from the community.

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