With no deficit and no cuts to programs, it appears school trustees don’t have much to stress about over the 2018/19 draft budget.
“Yes, pretty much a status quo budget,” said School District 53 chair Rob Zandee. “It will be interesting to see what the funding review panel comes up with for the following year.”
The budget shows operating fund revenue at $26.6 million, with expenses at $26.3 million, a net revenue of $377,060 (for capital asset purchases).
Last week Treasurer Subramanian Paliappa presented the budget during a public forum in Oliver.
Enrolment figures for 2018/19 show a total of 2,267 students in the district, compared to projections of 2233 in 2019/20 and 2,208 in 2020/21.
Paliappa said the board is once again presenting a balanced budget and will not require accumulated surplus to cover this school year’s expenses.
The treasurer said $437,000 of Rural Education Enhancement Fund money will go to Osoyoos Secondary School. These funds will be allocated for principal salary and benefits, school supplies and services, utilities and grounds maintenance worker salary and benefits.
The Ministry of Education is also continuing the Classroom Enhancement Fund; $2 million will be used towards teachers’ salaries and benefits, and $137,000 will go toward overhead costs such as sick time, classroom supplies or equipment.
A Transportation Fund also exists with $209,000 going towards enhancing transportation across the district.
The budget includes an expanding education program through the Okanagan Correctional Centre. Revenues of $200,000 are projected for 2018/19.
Total salaries in the budget amount to approximately $18 million, with benefits adding another $4.5 million.