New requirements from the province to spend the school district’s entire operating grant, used to maintain and build-out school properties, has Central Okanagan school trustees questioning the Minister of Education’s logic.
“It seems to me this is a little bit absurd,” said trustee Gail Given as the board of education tried to ascertain what the requirement means.
According to the district’s director of finance, Larry Paul, anything that is not spent will be seized by the ministry and the district is forbidden from exceeding the budget by overspending.
This places school districts where work must be completed during the spring, fall and summer, when the area is not in the throws of a winter freeze, at a serious disadvantage to those were work can be completed year-round, the trustees noted.
“I think the main thing is, like any good household, you budget the year and you don’t say, ‘I think I’ll have my roof done in the middle of winter,’” said trustee Moyra Baxter, as she shook her head at the requirement.
The board has opted to write a letter to the minister raising their concerns, but will have to figure out how to make do this year.