Revelstoke’s School District 19 has adopted a budget of $13,311,249 for the 2016/17 school year. That’s down slightly from 2015/2016 when the amended budget was $13,493,213.
Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Tisdale told the Board of Trustees on Wednesday that there was an increase in total funding provided by the Ministry of Education as well as a decrease in costs through adjustments to the teacher pension plan rate.
However, these increases on the budget were not sufficient to address all the cost pressures beyond the control of the board.
“These cost pressures include increases to teacher, support staff, principal and exempt staff salaries, medical services plan expenses and related benefit plan premiums, utility increases, and costs related to transportation and maintenance,” the board said in a statement issued on Thursday, May 26. “The mild winter resulted in a decrease in utility and maintenance costs but the budget should be based on normal Revelstoke winters so there were no direct savings in that section of the budget.”
In addition to the increase in expenses, the Ministry is still requiring an administrative savings from the district representing a reduction in the budget of $51,315. In the case of this district, this savings is comparable to the increased funding referred to above.
More than 85% of the district’s annual budget is allocated to staffing at the school and district level. It continues to be challenging to find efficiencies and make reductions in spending without impacting staffing levels and areas of the budget that provide direct support for students.
The board was faced with some difficult decisions in developing this year’s budget, but is pleased to have approved a balanced budget. We are proud of the very high level of programs and support services that are provided for our students in SD 19 and will continue to work hard to ensure they are sustained in the future.
The budget document is available on the SD 19 website at http://www.sd19.bc.ca/sd19-financialinformation/.
During their regular monthly meeting Trustees also received the annual report from RSS, delivered by Principal Greg Kenyon and Vice-Principal Andy Pfeiffer. The school is very successful and this year its student grade outcomes were five per cent above the provincial average.
The board was pleased with the visit to Revelstoke by students from Ono Cho, Japan, earlier this year and noted that Revelstoke students will be travelling across the Pacific next year to visit our sister city. About 50 students expressed interest and so far 16 have “put cash on the barrel head” to commit themselves to the trip.
Please click here to read a copy of the agenda for the Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Trustees’ meeting.
Please click on the YouTube players below to watch the two-part video of the meeting: