This year’s budget for the Chilliwack School District is just over $174 million. Next year’s budget will be discussed by the board at their next meeting, on April 13, 2021 and the public is encouraged to tune in online. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress file)

This year’s budget for the Chilliwack School District is just over $174 million. Next year’s budget will be discussed by the board at their next meeting, on April 13, 2021 and the public is encouraged to tune in online. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Budget discussions on agenda for Chilliwack school board, as belt tightens

Some trustees voiced concern recently that they would have to potentially cut some programs

The public will soon gets its first chance to look at next year’s Chilliwack school district budget.

The budget will be shown and discussed at the budget committee meeting on April 8, and then to the general public during the school board meeting on April 13.

This will be the preliminary budget for 2021-2022, and is the point in the year-long budget process where decisions are made to fund or cut programs and services. At recent board meetings, there was discussion between trustees about slimming down the budget in the coming year.

The district has been setting aside millions in capital funding to build two schools and two additions, adding more than 2,000 student seats to the district by the fall of 2022.

But staff warned the board that this year’s budget was tight, and next year’s is likely to be tighter.

Revenue loss has hit the district due to the pandemic, including in the international student program and facility rentals.

“We may have to start looking at making cuts to our budget and that’s never pleasant but sometimes you have to make cuts,” Trustee Heather Maahs said at the Jan. 26 meeting. “You have to roll your sleeves up.”

To tune in, via a Zoom webinar meeting, watch for a link on the Chilliwack School District website. It will be posted on Friday, April 9, along with the agenda for the meeting. That agenda is likely to also include basic information about the preliminary budget. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on April 13.

Registration is required to attend the board meetings, and participation is allowed in two separate portions of the meetings.

READ MORE: Chilliwack school board approves budget for current school year


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