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School board cuts administration in order to balance budget

The Board of Education of School District No. 57 adopted its 2023/24 budget totalling $199,164,132 Tuesday.

Adoption of the budget follows meetings with the Bbudget and multi-year financial plan consultation committee and takes into account input from stakeholders and rights holders shared with the board. The budget reflects the projected revenue and expenses anticipated as of June 13, 2023.

During preparation of the budget, the committee received information on anticipated 2023/24 revenues and expenditures, surplus balances, the school organization process and ways to address challenges for the coming school year. With a projected shortfall of approximately $2.3 million, reductions in various areas of the district’s operations were required including a 12.18 per cent reduction in district administration, 1.4 per cent reduction in operations and maintenance and 0.51 per cent in instruction.

“Developing a balanced budget was difficult this year and I would like to reassure parents, students, teachers, rights holders, and stakeholders that our primary goal was to minimize impacts in the classroom,” said Rachael Weber, board chair. “We remain resolutely committed to working to ensure the District is meeting the needs of students, and I want to thank the Committee for its work and input.”

The budget includes collective agreement increases for unionized staff in the district. It also includes a $437,650 allocation of unappropriated operating surplus, which was used to help balance the 2023/24 budget. The board intends an earlier review of the budget next year with potentially greater reductions as trustees work to eliminate the structural deficit.

The district is required to submit a balanced budget to the Minister of Education and Child Care by June 30, 2023.

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