School board sets a new budget

School District 69 (Qualicum) trustees give three readings to budget

The Board of Trustees of School District 69 (Qualicum) gave all three readings to their 2011/12 budget bylaw in the amount of $44,017,533.

The district has been in funding protection for two years, granted to guard against declining enrollment, which means they get 99 per cent of last year’s funding for the bulk of their budget, which is based on student enrollment.

Despite that, revenue is projected to be up $456,000, or one per cent over last year, from other sources.

The budget actually predicts an increase of 44 full-time equivalent students (FTE), largely due to the increase from half to full-day for all of the district’s kindergarten students.

As an overall budget expenditure, teacher salaries are going up $592,000 and educational assistants are going up slightly, while all other salary categories are going down.

As a result, despite the increased cost of more FTE students, overall salaries and benefits are budgeted to only increase $586,000.

The provincial government restored the annual facilities grant of about $977,000 for work on schools that was partially cancelled in 2009, but the district had to pass a capital budget bylaw to borrow $596,583 of it.

Secretary treasurer Bernice Hannam explained they do three budgets a year. This is the main budget — which is actually preliminary since it is done seven months before they have actual enrollment numbers in the fall.

That is followed by a final budget in January, which accounts for the realities of the current school year, and followed up with the financial statements at the end of the year.