Recent History – 2003
April 23, 2003 — Jamie Dirom, Daily News Staff
School District 59 plans to shave eight days from the upcoming school year to help cover a budget shortfall projected at $1.1 million. The move is expected to save the district $240,000, and will be accompanied by other measures – including cuts in technology spending, resource centre operations and dipping into reserve funds – to help cover the deficit.
Funding to schools will remain at current levels, although there are some increased costs at the school level that will necessitate some budget trimming. With eight days less than the province’s standard school calendar, school days will be roughly 14 minutes longer to meet provincial requirements for instructional time, said Superintendent Mike Downey.
The reduction in classroom days will cut costs by decreasing the amount spent on busing and support staff. While the board needs to cut roughly $800,000 less than it did a year ago, Downey said making cuts is never an easy task.
“I think this was as difficult for the board this year as it was last year,” he said. “It becomes more difficult with each round of cuts.”
But the bottom line for the school district is that services will remain the same.
“We will be able to meet the shortfall without sacrificing the services to students,” Downey said.
A great deal of input was received by the board from parents, staff and the community – all of which were given careful consideration, he added. Over the next month, the district will be developing a proposed calendar which must then be finalized by the end of May.
Under provincial legislation, the school board is required to adopt a final budget by June 30.