PG School Board Uses Surplus to Pass Balanced Budget
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George School Board is one step closer to passing a balanced budget for 2015-2016.
This after the Board gave first and second readings to their annual budget bylaw at a special meeting tonight.
It’s been a challenging exercise for the Board, who earlier this year were facing a $3.3 million deficit but managed to whittle that amount down through expanded Committee of the Whole Meetings this spring.
“So through the school organization process, through staffing levels, through asking our departments on an individual basis to find certain savings in certain areas, we were able to bring that amount from $3.3 million to $700,000,” said Trustee and Chair of the Board’s Management and Finance Committee Brenda Hooker.
The Board will cover the remaining $700,000 deficit by digging into their surplus, something she notes isn’t sustainable.
“It’s a great concern because it doesn’t appear that we’re going to see additional funding at the ministry level,” said Hooker. “We have very little surplus left. We’re at $1.2 million which is about 1% of our operating budget and with another MSP or hydro increase, that could put us into a place where we’d be in dire straights and forced to make radical changes.”
Trustee Trish Bella was the only trustee to vote against the bylaw, which clearly frustrated her.
“This is not anything to do with the work of our employees, it’s due to the lack of support from the provincial government,” she said. “Independent schools got a $30 million boost, we got cuts. We’ve been very polite tonight but I can’t support this budget.”
The Board will consider third and final reading and officially adopt the 2015-2016 budget at its next public meeting scheduled for April 26.