Abbotsford school funding break won’t mean ‘dramatic’ change

Announcement of $846,484 in funding comes after two years of budget cutting

Abbotsford school district secretary treasurer Ray Velestuk

Abbotsford school district secretary treasurer Ray Velestuk

A provincial announcement of a funding break for B.C. school districts is unlikely to mean an immediate reversal of budget cuts in the Abbotsford school district, according to secretary treasurer Ray Velestuk.

“I wouldn’t be expecting anything dramatic,” Velestuk said.

Education Minister Mike Bernier made the announcement, saying belt tightening by school districts across the province has resulted in $25 million in administrative savings, and each board will get a share.

For Abbotsford, the amount is $846,484.

But that comes after two years of budget cutting in response to a provincial order to have school districts find administrative savings.

The district made $973,000 in administrative savings cuts for the 2015-2016 budget and trimmed another $1.82 million from the 2016-17 budget.

Velestuk said that this soon after the announcement, the district isn’t planning to rescind any of those cuts, but he isn’t ruling it out, either.

Velestuk indicated a wholesale rollback of the cuts appears to be a remote possibility, given the fact that the district is facing a potential deficit of $930,000 and is also expecting an increase in student enrolment.

The Mission school district will receive $280,146 – money that Asst. Supt. Randy Huth says will be “very helpful.”

Huth said the Mission district recorded a “small” budget surplus this year, meaning the money could go to make improvements.