School staffing levels remain same

There's never enough money flowing from the province to local school boards - SD51 is lucky to have a surplus to fall back on.

School District 51 (Boundary) Director of Learning Doug Lacey speaks to the board at their monthly meeting held last month in Midway.

School District 51 (Boundary) Director of Learning Doug Lacey speaks to the board at their monthly meeting held last month in Midway.

The Board of Education for School District 51 (Boundary) was told at their regular monthly meeting held on April 15 at Boundary Learning Centre in Midway that staffing levels will remain at the same level next year.

“There are a few high school initiatives that we were able to support so we actually see an increase in staffing at those schools,” said Secretary-Treasurer Jeanette Hanlon. But she said no schools are losing positions.

Hanlon’s reported that in March she received the funding announcement for 2014-2015. We will receive $15,021,087, which is 98.5 per cent of last year’s funding.

“The decrease in funding is $228,748. Once again we will receive additional monies as a supplement for the Education Plan in the amount of $25,253. This money is to be used to strengthen reading and skill training. Special Purpose changes included an increase to the Learning Improvement Fund of $49,176.

“Approximately $300,000 in deficit at this point, but we still need to add to the budget for staffing because of the configuration and some composition and course selection.”

This will leave approximately $1 million in the districts’ surplus.

It was reported that only a couple of parents came out for either the west boundary or the Grand Forks public budget meeting that was held the week before.

Those who attended were told that enrolment continues to decline, it is down 38 per cent since the 2001-2002 school year. Projected enrolment for the 2014-2015 year is 1,263, which is a further decline of 29 students.

The biggest drop projected for next year is in Kindergarten enrolment, which is projected to drop by 14 students across the district.

Hanlon reported the budget is divided into four categories, with transportation accounting for 4 per cent of expenditures, district administration 5 per cent, operation and maintenance 14 per cent and instruction costing 77 per cent of the $15 million budget.

Staffing averages one teacher for every 20 Students at GFSS and one teacher for every 16 Students at BCSS. Teacher staffing at the elementary levels are based on class configurations.