Board protests funding cuts

Cuts mean r school district will face difficulty providing the infrastructure necessary to support students

Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted to Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender from the SD 61 Board.

The Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Greater Victoria) and its education partners express considerable concern regarding the recent funding announcement that includes provincewide administrative funding cuts of $54 million over the next two years.

This funding reduction will result in administrative budget reductions of up to $1.8 million in our school district. Add this reduction to increasing unfunded cost pressures and a structural deficit in excess of $8 million and our school district will face difficulty providing the infrastructure necessary to support the needs of our students, our staff and our community.

Over the past few years, we have made numerous challenging budget decisions that include eliminating administrative positions and supplies, finding operational efficiencies and relocating programs. We have also been on the leading edge of participating in shared service initiatives in order to realize cost savings.

We have made every effort to maintain a focus on the best possible outcome for our students. However, we will not be able to deliver ongoing administrative cuts without impacting the classroom and having a devastating impact on our overall district.

We request that you reconsider the administrative reductions in the funding of B.C.’s education system and restore funding to a level that will adequately support our commitment to providing high quality educational programs and services to our students: the future of British Columbia.

Edith Loring-Kuhanga, board chair

School District No. 61