School District Budget Survey

The Prince Rupert School District is expecting to decrease spending next year by 4%, or about $1,000,000

Your input would be greatly appreciated. Here is the link to their Budget Survey.

Since the World Café I’ve been thinking about the School District Budget: but my thoughts really don’t quite fit into a survey format- I seem to find that surveys are designed to shape thoughts instead of explore them.

Although I am highly supportive of well-funded public education I do think it is maybe time to re-think what is happening in this District.

It seems year after year the District is faced with a crisis of funding around this. Might I suggest some alternatives as to how we look at education in this district and begin to rethink how we are managing scarce funds given for the huge task: public education. Some of the alternatives:

  1. Suggesting that a reliance on outside ‘experts’ be minimized or even eliminated – excellent beginning. Outside experts only bring their solutions to other people’s problems and whether or not the solutions work present us with a bill. Seems so me to be a waste of money. (What was the name of the acting superintendent they hired to train the new one, who both left town?)
  2. The reduction or outright elimination of ‘specialist’ teachers…a good idea. But let’s take it a bit further: the extreme reduction or elimination of administrative functions over seeing special services as a first step: any residual responsibility for funds, services, and accountability would be taken up by school based administration with no increase in cost.
  3. How about a reduction in the number of Trustees? After all each Trustee costs money. Certainly, we’ve gone for periods of time recently when a Trustee has resigned and there has been no rush to replace them. Reducing the number reduces the costs: further, Trustees should no longer be fiscally supported in attending out of district meetings: attendance through conference calls and other technological means should be easy to facilitate. (A Trustee visiting in Belize was able to technologically attend a School Board Meeting in Rupert, don’t you know). Technology is the new educational buzz word.
  4. A question: if management is consistently faced with presenting deficit budgets year after year: is there an issue with management? Maybe it’s time to seriously look at rationalizing management to be less costly and more fiscally streamlined (outsourcing payroll functions etc.). (An added advantage: streamlining management (downsizing_ and administration – might also eliminate the costly consolidation of administrative functions to a larger building – which I seem to remember as being quoted at costing close to a million dollars).

Finally, if it takes a ‘village’ to raise a child – why not offset some of the costs back onto the ‘village’. Lunch time supervision and lunch programs – move them out of school responsibility and allow free enterprise to provide the meals and supervision for a cost.

So why not share your thoughts here as well as the survey – believe me, they do monitor this board.

Wow, the possibilities are endless – a little creative planning and this District could be rolling in money. De’ems my thoughts – you?

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Streamlining administration definitely could do some good to solve the financial restrains.
Too many cooks, or in this case administrators, spoil the broth.
One administrator can’t make a decision ( administrate) because she/he is waiting to hear back from another more senior administrator who has to talk to somebody else. The buck is just passed on and not much is getting accomplished.

Agreed. There are far too many administrators in school district 52. I would like to see fewer administrators and the savings used to hire more teachers and educational assistants. Smaller class sizes coupled with more support for children with special needs equates to a healthier learning environment.

HURRY, ACY NOW! For those who love filling out surveys, (the survey for the Budget Consultation process has closed), here’s a hidden, thrilling, almost secret survey for just you! The magnificent 2016 - 17 school calendar year survey! Secreted away in the bowels of the school district web site - your opportunity to help Trustees choose a calendar for next school year…and as an added bonus - you get to email S Jones personally!

Here’s the link:

Is the board opting for a two-week option – meeting the Ministry of Education’s “minimum” hours of instruction? It would be interesting to know what the advantage to a two-week break now is according to Ms. Last who expressed strong concerns over the suggestion last year. Do the former trustee’s nutritional concerns still hold true?

Note that each of the two-week options have fewer days of instruction!!!

A link to Board member comments about last year’s possibilities:

Could budgetary savings be taking precedence over educational benefit to students?
Or will the School Trustees opt to benefit students?

PS: rumors that the District will make finding Easter eggs on their site this year as difficult as finding this survey – probably not true!

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Just an update:

Apparently the estimated budget deficit was originally understated by over 800 000 dollars. OOPPPS - didn’t see that coming.

If rumours be true the cost saving of moving into a new administrative facility to consolidate, streamline and save money is no longer a viable option: the costs were rumoured to be closer to 5 million. OOPPPS - didn’t see that coming.

Finally, the two week spring break option for 2016 / 2017 School year may not be fully decided:

Since it appears to have been a tied vote it would seem that members of the Board took their positions after careful consideration: I believe there may be possible differences of opinion amongst the ranks. Could be wrong….but OOPPPS, didn’t see that coming. (By the way has anybody heard if option 2 is still on the table or are options 1 and 3 the only current choices?)