FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – It was just last week B.C.’s auditor-general made news headlines by arguing, that generally speaking, good budget management practices have been found in the province’s school districts and here in District 60 her argument remains sound.
Carol Bellringer’s report didn’t touch on issues at the Vancouver School District, where the board is facing a projected $24 million deficit, and has failed to get any more funding from the Province.
That means it could be facing the possible closure of a dozen schools and more than 180 layoffs by the end of next month.
However Education Minister Mike Bernier says, unlike other district boards across the province, the VSB has put off making the tough decisions, it now must make.
As for the Auditor General’s report, it came at a time when school districts throughout B.C. are into final preparations to meet a June 30th deadline to submit another balanced budget to the provincial government.
District 60 is right on track to do that, and the board has now given first and second readings, to what is expected to be a balanced budget of just under $70 million.
Superintendent Dave Sloan calls it a good news budget, and says, while the current draft still doesn’t have matching revenue and expenditure numbers, they are very close, and if necessary, surplus funds will be used, to get that match.
That noted however, he concedes the district could definitely use some more government funding support.
Third and final reading is scheduled, for the local board’s regular June meeting.