Budget Choices

school budget saving money

IGNORE MOST OF THIS TEXT.

Our Trustees are in a bind.  School Boards all over BC are chronically underfunded and under huge stress to submit a balanced budget.  Smaller districts like ours have less flexibility, treat
and any cuts made must safeguard the best education outcomes for our children.

When private sector companies are forced to downsize, their core service areas are the last to be cut.  In our case, a ‘core service’ is anything which directly affects student learning.  When cuts are made, they must be shared effectively around the district,  and all discretionary expenses examined.  Our children must not lose services to protect a top-heavy organization.

Given the City’s projected revitalization of the downtown core,  closing downtown schools makes little sense.  It is imperative to insulate the students, keep West Courtenay schools open and working, and not throw our essential resources away.  No single neighbourhood should be made responsible for the shortfall.

The most viable option: put a full stop to spending until all budget options are evaluated, and a new Treasurer and Administrator are fully integrated.  We need to stabilize our community and avoid rushing into poor decisions out of a sense of panic.   In light of this, we present a list of ways to reduce the shortfall not yet discussed.

With care, we can find ways to manage our resources and build new revenue partnerships.  To be fair, all of the options on the following list must be considered.  Parents, residents, elected officials all have a stake in these decisions being made in the public trust.   We must look to administrative and discretionary expenses to balance the 2016/17 budget.   

Respectfully,

A Concerned Citizen

on behalf of Comox Valley Schools

Possible Reductions: Immediate

  Freeze on hiring; suspend Superintendent hiring until December

  Review Job descriptions, and reduce salaries for Supt and Sec. Treasurer

  Seek a Budget Submission extension,

in view of  loss of  Supt. and Sec.Treasurer in mid year

  Reduce Board Senior Administration by a minimum of three positions (either by retirement or reassignment)

  Reduce Human Resources staff

  Reduce Vice Principals in Secondary; eliminate in Elementary

  Eliminate ‘District Principal’ designation and allowance

  Suspend all out-of-District Travel at Board expense

  Reduce Trustee stipends by 10%

  Move to a 4 day instructional week

  Close Tsolum School and relocate NIDES  to Lake Trail

  Increase foreign student fees by 10%

        Negotiate a rate decrease with B.C. Hydro

        Expand School Smart Program

Possible Reductions:  Future

  Suspend Board-sponsored Professional Development for all employees

  Review Transportation costs

  Suspend Post Season Athletic competition outside the SD

         Explore shared funding models with City,

Non profits and Business Community

  Reduce space requirements, and relocate School Board Offices

  -Negotiate sale/lease of School Board site

with the City and Regional District

  Plan for a referendum to support development of a

       ‘Community Education Centre’- See School Act  (URL)

  Seek an Increase in Community School Links funding

  Investigate Grant sources and Shared Funding, e.g. Vancouver Foundation, Comox Valley Foundation, Ministry (Rural Education), City Of Courtenay, CRA, Service Clubs,etc.