Okanagan Skaha trustees plot course for budget deliberations

School trustees on Wednesday began planning out their schedule for 2013-14 budget deliberations, which will likely see them forced to cut another $1 million in operating expenses.

The Okanagan Skaha School District’s first public budget meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 10, and other sessions with school administrators, unions and parent groups are planned both before and after. The school board is then expected to adopt the final budget at its May 13 meeting.

Secretary-treasurer Ron Shongrunden told the board’s finance committee on Wednesday that he’s expecting enrolment to decline by about 200 students next year. He doesn’t expect to receive funding information from the B.C. Ministry of Education until mid-March, but warned that trustees will probably have to tackle a structural deficit of around $1 million.

“It’s going to be another difficult, challenging year. It’s probably going to be that way for the following year or years as well,” Shongrunden said.

The district’s 2012-13 operating budget, which was set at $57 million, erased a $1.8-million shortfall through the elimination of 7.7 full-time equivalent positions and a $1-million dip into its savings and reserves.


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