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School board passes needs budget

Trustees will also submit balanced budget to minister

Trustees on the Greater Victoria Board of Education took a different tack to their advocacy, by demonstrating what they would be able to provide with a five-per-cent funding increase.

Traditionally, the board supplies the Ministry of Education with a balanced budget and one “needs budget,” which is an outline of the cost of providing for all of the district’s needs.

This year, trustees wrote the advocacy budget with the question in mind: what could each department provide with five per cent more resources?

“We thought, let’s look at things a little differently in a way that might catch government’s eye,” said board chair Peg Orcherton.

“It’s a smaller amount of money, but we’re trying to get the government to take a look at (restoration).”

Orcherton is hopeful that the needs budget – which calls for 38 more full-time teachers, an aboriginal cultural curriculum integration teacher and 11 elementary school learning support teachers  – will spark incremental funding increases, in addition to the district’s underlying structural deficit of about $8 million annually. The 2013-14 needs budget additions total $5,818,261 and will be sent to the as-yet unnamed provincial minister of education.

Last year’s needs budget of an additional $48.5 million reflected priorities brought forward by consultation with stakeholder groups, including union representatives.

The board passed a 2013-14 operating budget of $195,672,515 in April.

That figure includes a surplus balance of $16,483 to be carried forward and applied to the 2014-15 structural deficit.



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