School District 60 students begin another vacation period on the 26th of the month, but in the current uncertain economic climate, it is still not clear how many of them will return on September 8th for the next school year.
The budget process is being driven this year by provincial funding cutbacks and District Superintendent Dave Sloan says potential space crunch challenges—which go to conflicting enrolment predictions in an expanding district –represent a key factor.
“We have all sorts of different projections,” said Sloan.
“We have the local projections in terms of the numbers we get from the schools. We have the province’s projections, which they offer to us annually. We basically do our homework from the main office and come up with a number ourselves.at this point. We think we can expect a modest increase of 50 to 100 students.
“The unknown factor to us is we know about the ones that are coming, they’re very good about letting us know. We’re not always as informed about the ones that are leaving,” Sloan continued.
“We’re still projecting a modest increase over the 5,600 kids we have this year.
“The more kids we have, the greater our allocation from the province becomes. The other factor becomes those kids occupy spaces, they require services, they require teachers.
“So, the corresponding jump in costs likely outstrips the corresponding increase in revenue when you factor in the need for finding administrative efficiencies.”
As reported earlier, the issue will likely to be front and centre again at the next board meeting, a week from today, as trustees and administrators deal with an end of the month deadline for a balanced budget.