Education cuts heading for main school board meeting in Kelowna

Several recommendations including transportation charge as trustees grapple with mandated $1.3 million reduction

It appears dipping into parents pocket-books will make up the largest share of a $1.3 million dollar shortfall in the amount of money the provincial government is providing for education in the Central Okanagan.

The Central Okanagan School Board’s finance and legal committee has made 14 recommendations on how to balance its budget for the coming school year, including a $400,000 savings to charge parents who bus their kids to school.

The school board was mandated to make the cuts by the province as part of a $29 million reduction across B.C. and school boards were tasked with finding the savings in areas that did not directly affect students in the classroom.

Among the recommendations that will be presented to the entire school board next Wednesday at its regular meeting is the transportation charge, which will increase to $200 per student per year.

Finance committee chair Lee Mossman said there was much debate on the different cuts but in the end, the savings had to be found and it was unfortunate parents will have to pay more.

“Unfortunately some of those costs are going to be passed on to families when it comes to transportation,” said Mossman. “I’m glad we were able to maintain a high quality of services without having to greatly impact the quality of education. But I’m disappointed. If there was any way we could have done this without impacting parents we would have. But we were put in this position and we had to find a way.”

Mossman said any parents who have a hardship and can’t pay the transportation fee will be dealt with on a case by case by basis and need to contact the school board office.

The other single largest cut comes in the district’s operating budget by $275,000 while more money will come into the district with an increase in international students as well as an expansion of the district Worksafe BC shared service.

The entire school board will hear the recommendations at its April 29 meeting before voting on them.

Just Posted

Reel Reviews: Parlour games or video games

We say, “Rampage is silly fun and Truth or Dare is just silly”

Rain barrels, compost bins popular on Earth Day in Kelowna

Regional District’s annual sale sees all rain barrels sell in 90 minutes

Nature Centre fundraiser uproots

Allan Brooks Nature Centre’s Wine and Wild Things is June 23 at Lonepine Ranch

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

Kalamalka Lake water source turned off

Increased turbidity caused the Regional District of North Okanagan to turn off the taps Saturday

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Low fog creates stunning views near Sicamous

Motorists on the highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous were treated to spectacular scenery.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

KWIC swimmers compete in Montreal, Victoria

Kelowna-West Kelowna swimmers take to the pool at nationals and westerns.

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

West Kelowna Minor Baseball finally sees the light

The local baseball association has stadium lights at its main stadium

Most Read