Revelstoke school board passes balanced budget

Big enrolment decline doesn't translate into equivalent funding decrease

The Revelstoke Board of Education passed a balanced 2013–2014 budget last week, with only a slight drop in funding despite an expected enrolment decline of about 60 students.

The school district’s preliminary budget anticipates revenues of $10,962,044 with expenses of $10,835,778 for a small surplus of $126,266 in the 2013–2014 school year, according to a report by the district’s secretary-treasurer Barbara Ross.

The district is expected enrolment to decline by about 60 students to 954, but funding protection from the Ministry of Education means that the district won’t experience a significant decline in funding, said board chair Alan Chell.

The enrolment decline does means teaching staff will decline by the equivalent of almost four full-time positions. Spending on teachers’ salaries is down by more than $225,000 to $4,333,382, and principal salaries are down by about $100,000 to $575.133.

The district has increased funding for educational assistants by about $80,000, which Chell said would help give struggling students more one-on-one time with teachers.

“You can see where our resources go,” he said. “We’re trying to put a lot of money into education assistance.”

The school district is faced with an unfunded $70,000 increase in Teachers’ Pension costs Plan and Medical Services Plan premiums.

“Our cost goes up but there’s not the corresponding money from the ministry to fund those increases,” said Chell.

Operations and maintenance expenses are also up. While the school district is expected to see savings from the two new schools, the district is still maintaining three old schools.

 

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