Vancouver School Board Chair Surprised By Ministry of Education Announcement Appointing a Third Party Advisor

Board & Committees, Schools & Students

Board Chairperson Christopher Richardson says he was surprised by the Minister of Education’s decision to appoint an independent special advisor since last week the Board had already signed a contract with the professional accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) to do essentially what the provincially appointed advisor will be asked to do.

“The intent of our Board has been all along to submit a balanced budget at the end of April as all school boards are required to do under the School Act,” says Richardson. “District senior management are currently working on our preliminary budget for submission to the Board.  We will do what we have to do in order to balance our budget, however any potential cuts could have a significant impact on our system."

The intent of the PwC report is to provide an update to their 2012 advisory report, which looked at revenue and expense opportunities. Richardson says the intent of the new contract was to look at how far the Board has progressed in implementing the PwC recommendations and to seek their comment on the proposed balanced budget and any additional new savings that could be identified.

The Ministry of Education was notified of this arrangement earlier this month.

“We’re not sure what another special advisor is going to do to help the situation but we will cooperate with them,” he says.

Richardson says that his entire board remains committed to providing quality public education for students within a financially sustainable environment.