Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

Fewer students means less money for Central Okanagan School District

Budget decreases $2.96 million this year

Central Okanagan Public Schools has a smaller budget than originally anticipated.

The amended budget of $250,947,090 was adopted during a school board meeting Wednesday night. The difference from the preliminary budget is $2.96 million less due to student enrolment.

“The main funding factor for any budget is school enrolment and when we do the annual budget in spring, we do it based on projected enrolment,” said school district secretary-treasurer Eileen Sadlowski. “What happened is our actual enrolment that came in in September was less than the projected enrolment was.”

Funding from the education ministry is adjusted based on enrolment, and costs are adjusted accordingly, she added.

The projected number of general school-aged students was 22,176, but the actual number of students enrolled was 22,004.

“Less funding, less spending and the budget was decreased,” said Sadlowski.

New teachers are also costing the district less—$645,000 lower than the projected cost.

“Teachers are paid on an experience grid, so if they’re junior teachers, or new, then they’re lower on the scale than experienced teachers. So what happens when you have such a large influx of junior teachers… it shifts that average cost down a bit,” said Sadlowski.

The district didn’t make any cuts to the budget for this school year. Planning for the next budget has already started and will be brought to the Board of Education at the end of April.

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