Budget shortfall, busing fees topic at upcoming SD 60 board meeting

One of the debates goes to the struggle with the provincial government over busing costs and whether or not it will result in student fees as early as next school year.

“It’s before committee and [the] board is going to come up with a decision, I think, or a recommendation on Monday’s board meeting,” says Sloan. “…Certainly we’re looking at what we can do, and then we’ll take an action plan to the board and look for their response to how they want to deal with demands upon us that have been set by the province.”

Following presentation of the provincial budget earlier this year, school boards across B.C. are dealing with what has been described by some as a Liberal government claw back of teacher’s strike savings.

Last month Mr. Sloan conceded there will be a funding pinch of about $340,000 for the local district budget – due at the end of June.

Meantime, changes to the provincial funding formula position on busing costs has left district 60 will a shortfall of about $400,000, and despite local pleas to revisit the issue, there’s been no indication from the province of willingness to do so.

“The province changed they way it allocates,” Sloan concludes. “They have now a factor, called a geographic location factor, and funding comes to districts in that manner and we’re still working on this.”

“If we can’t find a solution that works for us financially to provide free busing, the possibility of fees is still on the table.”

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