Amendments to VSB 2016/17 Operating Budget

Board & Committees, Media Release

Vancouver - (June 2, 2016) –  On May 31, 2016 the Ministry of Education announced budget relief of $25-million to BC school districts. Vancouver’s share of the additional funding is approximately $2.25-million, reducing the VSB 2016-17 budget shortfall from $24.2-million to $21.8-million. While the VSB welcomes this additional funding, the Board continues to advocate for adequate, stable, and predictable funding.

Since the defeat of the April 28th VSB budget proposals, there has been no Board-approved operating budget in place for the 2016-17 school year. The additional $2.25-million Ministry funding has enabled district senior staff to amend those proposals, reinstating some of the positions that have a direct impact on classroom learning. The full report can be found here (Revised Preliminary Budget; June 1 Document). Highlights of the amendments are in the background document that follows.

Without a Board-approved budget, the School Act requires the Superintendent to implement the proposals to deal with the $21.8-million shortfall and protect the financial interests of the VSB. Chair Mike Lombardi acknowledges that responsibility and says: “The Superintendent is doing so with the board’s understanding and full confidence.”

Although the adjusted 2016-17 budget proposals being implemented by staff are interim, they will proceed unless the board reconsiders its decision to defeat the proposals and provides further direction.

VSB stakeholders and the community will have a chance to provide feedback on the amended proposals at a Committee of the Whole meeting at the Education Centre, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 5-10pm. Stakeholder feedback: 5-7pm. Community feedback: 7-10pm.

In the meantime, the board continues to work with the Minister of Education to secure additional funding for the operating budget. “We remain hopeful that the proposed cuts can be reduced or eliminated. If additional funding becomes available in the coming weeks or months my expectation is that the budget proposals would be adjusted accordingly,” said the Chair.

“I would like to thank parents, teachers, students, stakeholders, and community members for supporting the advocacy efforts of the VSB to secure adequate, stable, and ongoing funding for Vancouver public schools.”

For media inquiries contact:
Elaine McKay
604-713-5074 (O)     communications@vsb.bc.ca

Backgrounder

  • The School Act requires school boards to submit a balanced budget by June 30, 2016. 
  • VSB’s superintendent of schools is implementing staff proposals for the 2016-17 operating budget to deal with a significant shortfall.
  • On May 31, 2016 the Ministry of Education announced budget relief totaling $25-million to be shared by school districts around the province.
  • Vancouver’s share of the additional funding is approximately $2.25-million, reducing its budget shortfall to $21.8-million
  • The reduced shortfall allowed amendments to staff budget proposals to reinstate some positions. That includes reinstating the following Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions:
    • 10 School Based Office support positions
    • 7.14 Secondary Teaching Staff
    • 5 Special Education Support workers
    • 2 Elementary Teachers
    • 2 School-Based Vice-Principals
    • .8 Gifted Teacher Mentor
    • 1 District-based Gifted staff
    • 1 Enhanced Services Literacy Teacher
    • 1 Multicultural Liaison Worker
    • 1 Career Information Assistant
  • Ministry of Education budget relief to all districts, announced on April 19 and May 31, reduced the number of cuts required by VSB to balance its 2016-17 operating budget from an initial 167 positions to 98.25
  • More than 71 of those positions remain at levels 3 and 4 – the most severe cuts that will have a direct impact on classrooms and learning.