Qualicum School District 69 budget is just under $50 million

Line-item increases include raises for school principals and vice-principals, mandated through a contract with the BCPSEA

The School District 69 Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved its amended, final budget for the 2015-16 school year, and promptly announced the start of work on next year’s budget.

The amended annual budget bylaw includes an increase of $162,099 over the annual 2015-16 budget submitted by the district to the Ministry of Education last June. The amended annual budget comes in at $49,217,765.

“The school board is required to submit its annual budget by June 30, to have a plan to work from going into the school year,” secretary-treasurer Ron Amos told the board. “We’re then required to submit an amended budget partway through the year, including operational needs that may have arisen.”

Amos said the line-item increases include raises for school principals and vice-principals, mandated through a contract with the B.C. Public Schools Employers’ Association; modifications and reconfigurations made to the school board office; and increases in special education and Aboriginal education.

“This is an impact of targeted funding for Aboriginal education,” Amos said. “By default, every dollar that comes to us targeted for Aboriginal ed has to be spent in that area.”

Amos said the $162,099 will be made up with an additional $17,423 in funding from the Ministry of Education; $80,000 in “unnecessary useful surplus” resulting for an early pay-down of unemployment and other benefits; and a $64,676 draw from the district’s operating surplus.

The board unanimously approved three readings and final passage of the bylaw without comment.

Amos then shared the calendar for the 2016-17 annual budget process, which hinges on the Ministry’s funding announcement in March.

“Most of the discussions prior to that date are of a general overview of where we’re at in the district,” said Amos. “We’re meeting with our partner groups on Feb. 16 and then having discussions with the public on the 18th to give them an understanding of where we’re at going into the 2016-17 planning process.

“Once we know the funding announcement, then obviously we start adding revenues to the picture.”