Vancouver Board of Education Trustees passed a motion on April 29 to defer final consideration and adoption of the 2010-11 preliminary operating budget until a later date. The date of the meeting is still to be determined, but final consideration and adoption will take place on or before June 30 in accordance with the School Act.
In the meantime, trustees directed human resources to proceed with time-sensitive staffing decisions so that layoff notices can be issued according to existing collective agreements and within operational constraints. Staffing decisions may be amended before the budget bylaw is adopted and layoff notices rescinded.
The one exception was the itinerant band and strings program. Trustees excluded the program from the time-sensitive staffing decisions until the future of the program is determined as part of the budget process. The decision to exclude does not mean itinerant band and strings has been saved, but rather, it was made to preserve all available options should trustees elect to maintain the program.
Trustees decided to defer final consideration of the budget until after the special advisor appointed by Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid submits her report to the minister. The special advisor's report is due on or before May 31, 2010.
Trustees also passed a motion calling on the minister of education to make the special advisor's report available to the board on the same day it is submitted to the minister, and subsequently make the report public.