A week of kerfuffle over funding changes and adjustments proved net-positive for the Central Okanagan School District, the superintendent says.
On Wednesday, the district learned its portion of provincial “hold-back” funds amounts to $325,000.
Hold-back money, as it is termed, refers to the funds the B.C. Ministry of Education retains to deal with large enrolment bumps or other unforeseen costs that could crop up in any given school year.
There had been some concern that a $90,000 bill to bring down the deductible costs on the insurance for the school protection program would be coming out of the school district’s budget after the province changed the rules, forcing districts to pay.
“When it was announced, it appeared to be provincial downloading, but what’s happened is the ministry has covered the bill and we have extra,” said Hugh Gloster, superintendent of schools.
“So it’s good news for us. We get some additional resources we weren’t counting on, and on top of that we get this bill covered.”
The school district had already figured out how to handle the insurance issue and was planning to take the money from a $300,000 discretionary fund used to deal with unforeseen cost overruns like a tough snow year or a spike in fuel costs.
A provincial fruit and vegetable program which brings fresh fruits and veggies into schools is going to be implemented in every Central Okanagan School District school.
This week the province announced a $3-million influx of money for the program, which provides schools with fridges, coolers and fresh produce to ensure kids are interested in eating healthy.
The money is combined with funds from other provincial ministries and used to effectively market fruits and vegetables to the young pupils.
“School is an ideal environment for students to increase their knowledge of the benefits of fruits and vegetables because it helps them to recognize at an early age the importance of a healthy diet,” said Health Minister George Abbott this week.
The snacks are not provided daily, but rather introduced as part of an educational campaign.