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SD 78 approves budget for 2019-2020

No changes to the bottom line, unanimous approval

With no further changes to the bottom line, the Fraser-Cascade School District board adopted the budget for 2019-2020.

The district saw a dip in enrolment this year, down by 70 students, which plays an important role when it comes to budgeting but no staff was laid off at this time. Secretary-treasurer Natalie Lowe said during their last meeting that the district has dipped into reserves to continue to pay for teachers but that the current staffing levels are not sustainable for the long term.

The budget was additionally strained due to an increased need in special education assistance.

The complete budget amounts to nearly $28 million with $21.3 going to instruction, $1.4 million going to administration, $4.2 million for operations and maintenance and about $960,000 for transporation and housing.

RELATED: Cathy Speth welcomed to the Fraser-Cascade school board

The board unanimously passed the first reading of policy revisions for the district’s emergency plan as well as their environmental policy.

The board unanimously approved a letter of support for Foundry B.C. and the Hope Child and Youth Network for expansion in Hope. Foundry centres all across B.C. offer mental health and substance abuse services, primary care, social services and youth and family peer support services in communities all over the province.

RELATED: More students seeking mental health support, says SD78 school board

“It’s a chance to continue what we’re doing already as far as integrated case management for our youth and hopefully expand services and expand some of our facilities for our youth that we currently have,” said assistant superintendent Kevin Bird.

The Native Ed Professional Development Day is on Friday, Feb. 28 at the Agassiz Elementary Secondary School.

RELATED: Teacher salaries, special needs dominate SD78 budget talks

The school board would like to remind the public to submit their child’s immunization record as soon as possible. According to a late January letter, the district was still missing about 35 per cent of important student immunization information.

According to the latest Foundational Skills Assessment, fourth-grade students across the district have improved significantly in reading and numeracy.

The next District 78 School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at the District Education Office in Hope.

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