The School District 28 board of education. (Lindsay Chung - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

School District 28 board announces balanced, preliminary operating budget for 2020/21

The annual budget bylaw was set at $41,164,102.

The Quesnel Board of Education announced its plans for a balanced budget for the 2020/21 fiscal year at its May 20 regular board meeting.

The annual budget bylaw was set at $41,164,102.

“The end of this year has proven to be unprecedented and budgeting for next year is challenging,” said School District 28 Superintendent of Schools Sue-Ellen Miller. “We have budgeted for a normal return to school next year with additional costs for COVID-19 related to staffing, custodial and cleaning supplies.”

Before the consideration of requests, SD 28 said it anticipates an operating surplus of $75,164 for the 2020/21 school year.

“This was after the reversal of the one-time surplus expenditure plan implemented for the 2019/20 school year and budget adjustments for staffing and supply changes,” Miller said. “Additional costs have also been added relating to provincially negotiated wage increases for both union groups.”

In deciding its plans the board solicited feedback and ideas from partner groups, the Quesnel District Teachers Association, CUPE 4990 and the Quesnel Principals and Vice Principals Association on how best to invest dollars for the upcoming year.

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The board of education also hosted a public meeting to understand the community’s priorities, as well.

The following needs were identified by departments and stakeholder groups for the next school year.

The Quesnel Board of Education passed a bylaw for the 2020/21 budget which adopted all of these requests:

1.) Additional education assistants staffing in lien with the current year: $110,719

2.) Additional transportation route (to address overcrowding): $19,805

3.) Curriculum and resource support teachers: $92,898

4.) SD 28 contribution to new school (1/3 of $150,000): $50,000

5.) One teaching vice-principal (École Red Bluff Lhtako) and principal support: $143,958

6.) Principals/Vice-principals, managers and district administrator staff wage adjustments: $31,446

The investments above amount to $448,826 and will be covered in part by the anticipated $75,165 surplus (before requests) and the remainder through the accumulated operating surplus funds.

The Board of Education added it is pleased to be making investments to benefit the staff and students of the Quesnel School District for the 2020/21 school year.

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