School District #58 wants your input

School District #58 is currently in the budget planning process for the 2013/14 school year

School District #58 is currently in the budget planning process for the 2013/14 school year and the board is looking for input from the public.

As part of the consultation process, a meeting was held in Princeton on April 4. If you missed the meeting the board invites you to take part in the process by visiting www.sd58.bc.ca and filling out the Budget Survey.

On the website, you can also read through the overview of the districts budget planning process.

During the public meeting secretary treasurer, Kevin Black explained that the majority of School District #58’s (Princeton and Merritt schools) funding consists of operating grants of $24.15 million from the province for the year.

The base rate for provincial funding per student is $6,900.  For special education needs the funds are $9,200 Level 3, $18,300 Level 2 and $36,600 for Level 1, the majority of special needs come in at Level 3.

Declining student population results in declining provincial funding. Enrolment projections for the district show a drop of about 40 students, however an increase in students with special needs.

“We have .38 per cent of the provincial enrolment and 0.5 per cent of the special education students,” said Black.

Both parents and trustees present at the meeting agreed the proportion of special education students was high.

Presently the the funding for the district which comes from “funding protection” will be protected to 98.5 per cent of the previous September funding level. This means however, School District #58 will receive $360,000 less for the 2013/14 year.

Even if more than the projected amount of students enrol, the district will not receive any extra funding.

On May 6 a stakeholders meeting will be held in Merritt and the budget will be presented to the board for approval on May 8.  if you wish to have the opportunity to provide your input prior to,  be sure to visit www.sd58.bc.ca