Every parent should make plans to attend the School District 68 public budget meeting on Tuesday, April 15 at 6 pm at NDSS (Nanaimo District Secondary School 355 Wakesiah Avenue). If you want to make a presentation, contact ckelt @ sd68.bc.ca or call (250) 741-5238 before noon on Monday, April 14.
This meeting is important because the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Board of Education is in the process of setting the SD68 budget for 2014-15 which is facing a $5.4 million shortfall next year. The Board is scheduled to make final decisions on the budget at a Special Board Meeting at 6 pm on Wednesday, April 30.
The proposed budget cuts total $6.8 million, which is $1.4 million more than the $5.4 million needed.
44 full-time jobs are planned to be cut. So far it appears that the following will be eliminated:
- 19 teaching positions
- all secondary teacher librarians
- 3 elementary counsellors
Unless there is public outcry, there will be NO cuts to senior management who plan to:
- reduce number of custodians
- reduce staff as a result of school consolidations
- reduce carpenter position
- reduce one bus driver position
- reduce education assistant contingency budget
- change distance learning at secondary schools
- restructure secondary school libraries
- reduce transportation assistance budget
- reorganize Learning Services zone teams
- delay elementary school computer upgrading
- align supervision aide positions with existing school-based positions
- revise school clerical allocation formulas
- reduce services at District Administration Centre
- use 2012-13 operating surplus of $1.5 million
- use $1 million from “clawback” in 2013-14 budget
The proposed budget reductions will be discussed in meetings set for Wednesday, April 16th; Tuesday, April 22nd; and Monday, April 28th. All meetings are open to the public and will be held in the Board Room of the District Administration Centre at 6 pm.
Since 2011-12, SD68 received $12.4 million in a Funding Protection Grant, which is the highest amount received by any school district in the province, but this is being phased out and it is expected that it will no longer be available in 2016-17.
Next year, the Ministry of Education grant to SD68 will be $1.7 million less than this year. SD68 district faces additional costs, such as benefits increases and utilities.
Serious problems for parents to consider:
Since 2004, there has been a 7.1% increase in the number of administrators. At the same time there has been a significant drop in educators.
Here are some stats for 2004-2009:
SD68: 10 more administrators hired, 13 less teaching positions.
SD69: 5.70 more administrators hired, 18 less teaching positions.
Unlike student/teacher ratios, there is no formula for the number of administrators in any of the province’s 44 school districts. Each school district is given a lump sum of money and it’s their choice on what to do with it.
Nowhere has School District 68 proposed to make up for the shortfall of money by cutting upper management. Why do they need 6 superintendents for over $1.3 million? It’s time for parents to demand more education dollars go towards their children.