Cuts to education

The members of the Okanagan Skaha School Board have made some deep cuts in order to address a $1.5 million budget shortfall this year.

The members of the Okanagan Skaha School Board have made some deep cuts in order to address a $1.5 million budget shortfall this year.

The board has dipped into $900,000 in accumulated savings and reserves and has cut another $600,000 from the budget for 2013-2014.

Such measures are disturbing and should serve to show the problems faced by the school trustees.

Using reserve funds and accumulated savings to balance a budget is a risky gambit. Reserves and savings are for capital projects or for expenses outside of the standard operating budget.

Dipping into these funds in order to meet the budget is akin to a family withdrawing from a retirement savings fund in order to pay the day-to-day expenses. Such a move may work for a year or two, but it is not sustainable.

When any government has to use reserve funds in this way, it is a sign of financial trouble in the near future.

The $600,000 in budget cuts is equally disturbing. No matter how much the board attempts to streamline operations, cuts of this amount will have an effect in the classroom.

If the school district was able to set its own tax rate, the problem would be easy to solve. The rate would increase slightly and the budget could be met without making cuts or dipping into reserves.

School boards are not able to set their own tax rates and as a result, the boards are left with the money handed to them from the provincial government.

After using reserves to balance this year’s budget, we wonder if the school board will be able to find ways to handle its next budget if the funding trend continues.

Unless changes are made at the Ministry of Education level, the school board will have to take drastic measures to balance the books — even if such measures affect the quality of education for students.

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

Truck smashes fence, building and knocks out power in Peachland

Two heavily intoxicated men were discovered at the crash scene

District staff consider updated GHG emission reduction targets in Summerland

Residents suggest plastic bag ban, cohousing, having new developments be “solar ready” at open house

B.C. premier says Greyhound replacement news could come shortly

Province is working with the private sector to find a solution, says premier

Now hiring: cannabis consultants in Penticton

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch fair is on July 2 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Kelowna Rocket invited to Hockey Canada National Under-17 Development Camp

The 16-year-old was selected by the Rockets 18th overall at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Okanagan RCMP serve up slices and support for Special Olympics B.C.

Last years inaugural campaign raised more than $12,000

Car window smashed with a bike in Kelowna

A staffer working in the area on the incident says vandalism is a reoccurring problem

Kelowna Mayor’s walking tour of Rutland cancelled

Growing issues surrounding supportive housing leads to rescheduled meeting with concerned resident

Hergott: Moral obligations and your will

Lawyer Paul Hergott discusses wills and moral obligation

Shots fired at metal sign in Central Okanagan

A road sign was shot at and damaged, but nobody was hurt

Okanagan marathoner bests former Canucks at Vancouver race

Vik Bains raced Daniel and Henrik Sedin and finished just ahead at the 2019 Scotiabank Half Marathon

Most Read