The Central Okanagan School Board has re-distributed close to $1 million it received back from the provincial government from administrative cuts the board had previously made.
On Wednesday night the school board passed a motion to put the majority of the $967,983 it received from the province, back into schools in the district.
The board dispersed the money in several different areas: $400,000 will go back directly to schools and be used to revisit staffing levels, primarily at the middle and secondary levels. Support, clerical and custodial staff will receive $150,000 while the technology budget will get $140,000 back and $52,000 will go into instructional support budgets across the district.
The board also decided to apply $225,000 to its anticipated surplus, allowing any surplus funds to be used for the 2017-18 budget.
School board chair Moyra Baxter said much of the money will go to areas that were facing larger cuts and stressed that the extra money isn’t enough for the district to be able to balance its budget alone.
“Instead of having to cut $3.2 million we had to find $2.3 million,” she said. “So we still have to make cuts, it’s just that they were not quite as bad as we had expected. We’re still finding the pressure getting more and more difficult to deal with. Every year you are rolling over those previous cuts so it’s always making more cuts rather than just making the same ones.”
School boards across B.C. were mandated over the past two years to find administrative savings. Earlier this year the provincial government announced it was returning the second year of those cuts to school districts for a total of $25 million and also said the program would continue year over year, although how much money would be returned to districts is unknown.
Several Okangan students were honoured at the Central Okanagan School Board meeting this week for their part in a pair of contests.
The Board of Education acknowledged the following winners from the Rotary Club/Central Okanagan School District Public Speaking Contest:
1st place: Brooke Berg, South Kelowna Elementary
2nd place: Rowan Murdain, Oyama Traditional School
3rd place: Harry Gill, Davidson Road Elementary
1st place: Mihai Covaser, KLO Middle
2nd place: Krystafer Carroll, KLO Middle
3rd place: Asia Hanson, Dr. Knox Middle School
The Board of Education recognized the following students, in for their success in the Young Entrepreneur “Dragon’s Den” Competition:
1st Place Josh Ruda, Okanagan Mission Secondary School “KVCresties”
2nd Place Kanaan McGoran, Kelowna Secondary School “MNK Apparel”
1st Place Teagan Adams, Okanagan Mission Secondary School “Doogoods”
2nd Place Jeremy Laverdiere & Tanner Milligan, KLO Middle School “Pocket Lock-It”
3rd Place Eric & Joel Worman, KLO Brudders Creamery”