School Board Approves Budget
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George School Board unanimously gave third and final reading to its 2016-17 annual budget bylaw tonight.
In order to pass the roughly $148,000,000 budget, the Board had to use just over $423,000 of its surplus. That number was reduced by $622,655 today following news the provincial government was redirecting administrative savings back to districts across the province, including Prince George.
The first two readings of the bylaw were given at a public meeting two weeks ago. The deadline to pass the budget was June 30th.
Though trustees welcomed the return of administrative savings, Trustee Brenda Hooker said it failed to address the Board’s “structural deficit.”
Trustee Trish Bella went a step further noting today’s announcement, after budget consultations have already taken place province-wide, “shows a lack of understanding of the budgeting process.”
Following final reading, the Board passed a motion, put forward by Trustee Tim Bennett, to write a letter to B.C.’s Minister of Education Mike Bernier.
It read: “That the board write a letter to the Minister of Education for acknowledging concerns expressed by provincial Boards of Education and rescinding the requirement of new administrative savings and ask that the remaining $727,000 of required administrative savings for the 2016/17 budget be returned.”