Second Advisory Budget Consultation meeting held

The School District 52 board of education held the second ABC meeting at CHSS on Thursday, March 1st.

The board of education from School District 52 has started the Advisory Budget Consultation process for the 2012/2013 school year, holding the second meeting on the topic on Thursday, March 1 in the multipurpose room at Charles Hays Secondary School.

The meeting was short and sweet, with the district’s Secretary-Treasurer Cam McIntyre making a presentation on where the budget process is at currently.

At this meeting, the projected student enrollment numbers were released, which will have a lot to do with how much funding the district receives from the government, as well as the list of submitted new initiatives and budget saving areas.

During his presentation, McIntyre announced the projected student enrollment numbers for the 2012/2013 school year is a headcount of 2,157 students, which is down 46 students. Although there is a decrease, McIntyre mentioned that it’s not as large of a decrease as last year.

There were over twenty submitted cost initiatives from stakeholders and from the online survey including course expansions, a number of different equipment replacement around the district, training of a variety of different staff members and additional staff hiring, programs, etc. The new initiatives totaled $715,810.

There was two cost savings suggestion, which both recommended to reduce staff members, suggesting reducing an administrator position at CHSS, and a board office position. The cost savings totaled $80,238.

The district is expecting to lose approximately $400,000 in Funding Protection, so not all the suggestions will be included in the budget.

Many of the suggestions came from an online survey, something new the board is trying out this year. A survey can currently be found at www.sd52.bc.ca/survey that allows members of the public to have a say in which initiatives they think should be prioritized.

Superintendent Lynn Hauptman says it’s gratifying to see people using the online survey to submit their suggestions.

Another way stakeholders and the public can submit their thoughts is requesting to make a presentation at the next ABC meeting on why they believe a certain initiative is important for the budget to the board. People wishing to make a presentation are encouraged to contact Secretary-Treasurer Cam McIntyre.

The next ABC meeting will be held on Monday, March 12 in the multipurpose room at CHSS. At this meeting, information on Ministry funding will be discussed.

The board is expecting the budget to be completed and approved at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.