North Okanagan Shuswap School District #83 Proposals for $1.8 Million in Cuts …

budgie cuts

… for the 2014-15 school year… are now posted at the school district website here. The district notes that the proposals and decisions will be under discussion at the regular board meeting – a public meeting – on May 13 at 7 p.m. at the DEC.

Here are the highlights – please read the full Budget Report to the Board document for the related background and rationale. Bullets are mine.

  • Principal/Vice Principal administrative time will be reduced by 0.1 FTE. This will increase the amount of teaching time by these employees and therefore decrease the number of teachers required. Estimated savings is $10,000.
  • School supply budgets will be reduced by $15,000.
  • Secondary teachers will be reduced by 4.0 FTE resulting in savings of $400,000.
  • Learning Resource teachers will be reduced by 1.0 FTE resulting in savings of $100,000.
  • Education Assistants will be reduced by approximately 2.0 FTE resulting in savings of $85,000.
  • School Clerical and Lunch Hour Supervisors will be reallocated between schools and reduced overall by 0.23 FTE resulting in savings of $10,000.

Total reductions related to enrolment declines are $620,000.

Further reductions are planned in the following areas to make up the remaining $1.221 million to achieve a balanced budget.

  • School supply allocation factors will be reduced by 5% resulting in savings of $55,000.
  • Department services and supply budgets will be reduced by $266,600 including professional development and travel expenses.
  • Substitute/Replacement budgets will be reduced by $100,000. These savings will be achieved through the reduction of Professional Development and other leaves when a replacement is required. In addition, the district will be reviewing replacement guidelines to determine when substitute coverage is not necessary.
  • District purchasing staff will be reduced by 0.7 FTE resulting in savings of $30,000.
  • Maintenance trades staff employed to support summer and other project work will be reduced resulting in savings of $50,000.
  • Budget Report to the Board, May 13, 2014 Page 9 of 12
  • Maintenance grounds staff will be reduced by 1.0 FTE resulting in savings of $43,000.
  • Maintenance grounds summer staff will be reduced resulting in savings of $15,000.
  • Crossing guards at Armstrong Elementary will be reduced from two to one with hours adjusted resulting in savings of $7,000. South Broadview Elementary is the only other school that is provided crossing guard support at one hour per day.
  • Music program administration time will be reduced by 0.4 FTE. This will increase the amount of teaching time by this supervisor and therefore decrease the number of teachers required. Estimated savings is $40,000.
  • Speech and Language Pathologists will be reduced by 0.2 FTE resulting in savings of $20,000.
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing will be reduced by 0.2 FTE resulting in savings of $20,000.
  • Gifted programs will be reduced by 0.2 FTE resulting in savings of $20,000.
  • Student services helping teaching will be reduced by 0.4 FTE resulting in savings of $40,000.
  • Family Life teaching position will be reduced by 0.6 FTE eliminating the position resulting in savings of $60,000.
  • Counsellor staffing allocations will be adjusted to reduce counseling support by 0.5 FTE in total between Middle and Secondary schools resulting in savings of $50,000. Counselling support at elementary schools remains unchanged.
  • Adult education programs will be discontinued resulting in savings of $120,000. This was approved at the April 8, 2014 public board meeting.
  • Teacher Librarian positions will be allocated in the elementary and middle schools at the same level as currently in the secondary schools. Secondary schools are provided 1.0 FTE per 700 students. This ratio will be applied to all schools and will result in a reduction of 2.4 FTE at elementary schools and 0.444 FTE at middle schools resulting in savings of $284,400.

Total reductions related to program cuts and service levels are $1,221,000.

The above operating fund reductions total $1,841,000 and will ensure the board has a balanced budget as required by legislation.

A further helpful backgrounder to revenue and expense factors from March 2014 is here.

Here’s your first public opportunity to comment on the specific proposals in front of the trustees. Please leave your thoughts with them as well as here on Aim High.

Author: Tim Lavery

Aim High Salmon Arm It matters

7 thoughts on “North Okanagan Shuswap School District #83 Proposals for $1.8 Million in Cuts …”

  1. Thank you to Tim Lavery for his persuasive efforts to encourage the Board of Trustees in School District #83 to release this information BEFORE they vote. This is an important step toward clarity and respect in the budget process. This is not good news, but at least it is news. There is still time to respond before the vote. Thanks Tim.

  2. I’d be curious what the decrease in anticipated student enrollment is, and how these figures relate to that %.

    1. On my phone right now AL so linking is an issue for my chubby fingers. At least one of the links has that info. I think that approx 1/3 of the dollar value of the cuts is associated with declining enrollment.

  3. Sad comment, that our children’s education means so little to so few. In today’s society kids need all the help they can get, not less!

  4. … so you’re saying that, if 1/3 of the cuts are due to declining enrollment, then 2/3 of the cuts are for political reasons rather than declining enrollment? That would be because of decisions made my Mr. Kyllo, Mr. Fassbender, and their colleagues. I wonder who, among their constituents, have requested such changes??

  5. Chronic under-funding and down-loaded costs are the main culprits. The best comparative metric imo is that BC students are now funded $1000 “per head” less than the Canadian average. At the start of the current BC Liberal reign, BC was in the average range. This under-funding is leading to the lack of capacity now in the system.

    A local school of 400 students is now receiving approx. $400,000 dollars per school year less than the national average. That would go a long way to providing learning supports of all kinds – especially to learners needing more specialized support.

    Declining enrolment and Minister Fassbender’s line of “more money is spent now than 12 years ago” are both true but are political spin for the systematic under-funding. School district trustees throughout the province get to do the BC Libs dirty work of to-the-bone cuts.

  6. The proposed funding formula for elementary teacher-librarians and hence libraries or learning commons of “1.0 FTE to 700 hundred students” equates to the following reductions in libraries services and management by specialists (40%):
    – The following libraries will be open two days per month: Grindrod, North Canoe, North Shuswap, Salmon Arm West, Silver Creek (all .1 FTE) and Falkland and Ranchero open just a little more .15 FTE. Sorrento and Parkview open one day a week and then another day every other week (.25 FTE). Hillcrest and South Broadview will be .35 FTE (approx a day and a half per week); MV Beattie, Carlin, Highland Park and Lenwood will be open 2 days per week (0.4 FTE), while our largest elementary school in the district, Bastion will be open 3 days per week (0.6 FTE). Due to declining enrollment and the same funding formula AL Fortune high school will only have .2 FTE – 1 day a week, or partial mornings or …? Eagle River High School will be at .14 FTE, less than a day a week for a high school!

    While the trustees were between a rock and a hard place making difficult decisions to balance the budget, these “reductions” certainly do not support one of the district’s main goals of literacy. As Barry Chafe, school district trustee, stated metaphorically it was like the trustees were working with a hand this year and deciding which finger to cut off. Is having our rural school libraries barely open acceptable?

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