Sooke School District gets some relief after budget cuts

SD62 will receive $450,401 after more than $1.7 million in cuts

The Sooke School District will receive $450,401 to reduce the sting of more than $1.7 million in budget cuts.

Last week the province agreed to let B.C. school districts keep $25 million they were required to cut from administration.

In the Sooke district, the promise of more funds comes on the heels of a process that resulted in significant cuts to reach a balanced budget.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced May 31 that school districts can keep the money they’ve saved to spend as they see fit.

“At this point, we’re glad for the money. We wish the amount was higher,” said Bob Phillips, Sooke board of education chair.

“We’re really, really glad that we can use the money the way we want to use it. So the staff will look at the services we had to take out of our budget.”

The Sooke district was looking at cutting several educational assistants, librarian, school coordinators and counsellor positions as well as school programs to make up the budget deficit.

Provincially, the group Families Against Cuts to Education says 31 districts were reporting a combined shortfall of more than $85 million in their budgets for next year.

Adding to the shortfalls across the province are mandatory technology upgrades at $24 million this year, salary increase for non-union staff, and other cost increases including rising B.C. Hydro rates and MSP premiums.

B.C. NDP leader and Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan said despite the budget windfall, the Liberal government still continues to underfund public education.

“This is the least that [Premier] Christy Clark could do. The least. This is not new funding and I think that parents and students will see through this cynical election ploy,” Horgan said in a statement.

“There are no cheques going to local school boards. All that the B.C. Liberals are saying is that they won’t be clawing back the $25 million that they were originally demanding from schools across B.C.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Greater Victoria MP Randall Garrison calls on Ottawa to extend peacekeeping mission in Mali

The Esquimalt-Sooke-Saanich MP just returned from a trip to Mali and Senegal

Support group helps Victoria parents navigate issues with children

Parents and caregivers offered “free, safe, non-judgmental, confidential” support

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Most Read