School board members still have to vote on adopting a bylaw to implement the amended budget changes at a meeting in February (File photo)

Budget for Central Okanagan School District increased by $11M

The proposed budget is now $275.6 million for 2019/2020 school year

Central Okanagan school board members approved a motion on Wednesday night to move forward with an amended $275.6 million 2019/2020 school budget.

Despite the amended budget costing almost $11 million more than the original budget presented by the district last fall, school board members still voted unanimously on the increase.

School district assistant secretary treasurer Delta Carmichael said there were a couple reasons for why the budget had increased in recent months.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan school district continues strong growth

“Half of our $10.9 million increase came from our classroom enhancement fund, which we received just before Christmas. That $5.075 million allowed us to hire additional teachers into our schools,” said Carmichael.

In 2016, the B.C. Teacher’s Federation won a supreme court decision to allow more teachers to be hired in provincial classrooms, which is one reason why Central Okanagan and other school districts have recently been receiving boosts to their classroom enhancement funds.

School district secretary treasurer Ryan Stierman said increases to student enrollment was another reason for why the district had received a funding boost.

“Every year, the government allocates us a certain amount of funding per student. We had forecasted an extra 150 students in our spring budget, and it ended up being about 400 new students,” said Stierman.

“That extra 250 students generated about $4.1 million in new funding.”

In Dec. of 2019, it was revealed that the Central Okanagan was the third fastest growing school district in the province.

School board members still have to vote on adopting a bylaw to implement the amended budget changes at a meeting in February.


@connortrembley
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