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

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

250th Free Little Library installed in Victoria

Greater Victoria now has the highest density of mapped little libraries in the country

Urbanists hope to see Victoria’s unused rooftops, parkades, parking lots become usable green space

Downtown Residents Association says city dwellers should have access to parks

For the love of fibre: fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Cemetery tour explores Metchosin’s early history

A tour with grave consequences for those wishing to explore Metchosin’s history takes place Aug. 25

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read