In the last of a series of five public meetings, School Board Trustees for School District 79 passed a balanced budget of $81,786,346.
The 2016 – 2017 budget benefited from public input with 162 survey responses, consultative meetings with unions, principals & vice principals, the District Student Advisory Committee and the District Parent Advisory Committee. The Board also held one public budget meeting and publically discussed the budget at four open Board & Board Education and Business Committee meetings during March and April.
The Board grappled with a $3.3 million shortfall, necessitating a search for savings with the least impact on classrooms. In keeping with public input, the Board realized $238,125 in cuts at the central Board Office. During budget planning, the Board also considered resource allocation in similar districts.
Said Superintendent Rod Allen, “With the talent and commitment of our teachers and partners, this budget enables us to carry forward with the new curriculum, and exciting options for students.”
The Board regretfully chose to close the Adult Education program by Winter Break. Unfortunately the program has not been operating at financial cost recovery over the last number of years and has been sustained by using funds from the K – 12 operating budget. Current students will have until the end of this calendar year to complete courses in which they are enrolled. The Board directed SD79 staff to work with Vancouver Island University to facilitate a smooth transition for current students.
The Board passed a motion to issue appreciation letters to educational partner organizations. Board Chair Candace Spilsbury also formally thanked the community, “In my experience, this is the most public input on the budget we’ve ever received. We deeply appreciate the careful consideration people put into the survey. We were glad to once again confirm the Board of Education’s commitment to putting students first.”
- SD79 2016/17 Budget & Supporting Documents
- Adult Basic Education, Vancouver Island University Cowichan Campus
- Vancouver Island University Financial Aid
- Adult Basic Education Funding through Student Aid BC