Okanagan Skaha School District welcomes budget input

Series of staff meetings scheduled before budget scheduled to be adopted May 7

Contributing your virtual two cents to the Okanagan Skaha School District’s 2012-13 budget could hardly be easier.

The district has once again posted an online survey on its website, www.sd67.bc.ca, that allows the public to weigh in on where the money should go. Secretary-treasurer Ron Shongrunden said the district received about 125 responses last year.

He emphasized that up to three more years of budget turmoil is projected while enrolment levels stabilize at area schools, so forward-looking advice is also appreciated. “If we don’t use it this year, we could use it next year,” Shongrunden said.

In addition to tracking survey results, staff and trustees are continuing to plow through a laborious budget consultation process. They’re tackling an estimated operating budget shortfall that Shongrunden pegged at last week’s Finance Committee meeting at between $500,000 and $1 million.

With funding formula information still trickling in from the province, Shongrunden stressed that the budget documents are still very fluid. The 2012-13 plan calls for expenditures of $58.5 million, up about $100,000 from 2011-12. The biggest portion of the planned spending is salaries, at $39 million, followed by benefits at $9.9 million, and supplies and services at $8 million.

District staff have a series of meetings scheduled before the budget is set to be adopted May 7.