On September 20, the Vancouver School Board submitted their 2014 Budget Consultation document to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.
In the submission, the Board outlined its preliminary operating budget for 2013/2014 highlighting how the VSB relies on provincial grants for 93 percent of its annual revenues. On the expenditure side, the Board highlighted that 84 percent of its expenditures go directly to the instruction of students.
A close look at these numbers shows a significant funding shortfall.
"The VBE, like other school boards in the province, has faced significant funding shortfalls over the past decade. As a result of these funding shortfalls, school districts have had to make reductions to the level of services provided in order to achieve balanced budgets as required by the School Act," reads the report.
According to this submission, the VSB would need at least $47 million in additional annual funding in order to restore the same level of service as was delivered prior to 2002/2003.
In order to mitigate the shortfall illustrated in the briefing, the Board recommended the following initiatives:
- For the Province to provide stable, predictable and adequate funding to fulfill their responsibility for continued and equitable access to quality public education
- The full funding of an Provincial mandated increases (including salary, benefits, pension increases, medical premiums, etc) to be covered by the Province
- The review and increase of supplemental funding grants for students with special education needs
- Funding to support increased maintenance and upgrades needed for school facilities
- Sufficient capital funding to upgrade or replace seismically at risk schools
- A real plan to eliminate child poverty in BC
Click here to read the full submission.