Chilliwack school district faces $3.1 million shortfall

Chilliwack school district is presenting its 2014/15 budget at the May 6 public board meeting. Job cuts are not on the table.

Chilliwack school district is facing a $3.1 million dollar shortfall, but it’s not a budget to get worked up over. Yet.

The 2014/15 budget will be first introduced to school trustees on Tuesday.

The district is not planning to balance the budget through job cuts, but rather attrition and reorganization.

With retirements coming from custodians, educational assistants and teachers, the district is looking at reorganizing departments to maximize efficiency with less.

“We’re going to give it until September,” said secretary treasurer Gerry Slykhuis. “If we still don’t have the numbers, we may have to do something in September, but we’re pretty confident we’ll get enough retirements that we’ll be okay … as long as we don’t do a bunch of hires.”

The budget presentation will point out several financial constraints the school district is facing.

Things like the four per cent CUPE wage increase to be fully implemented next year; the 15 per cent BC Hydro rate increase; increases to employee benefits; and the potential for teacher and other staff wage increases currently being negotiated.

As well, the cost pressures from several initiatives including continuing to implement recommendations from the special education review published last year; implementation of a new student information system; early intervention programs; and leadership development.

There’s a decline in enrollment at Fraser Valley Distance Education school, government funding uncertainty, the potential impact of the BC Supreme Court ruling on class size and composition, space issues, and more.

“We’ve got about $1.1 million in cost pressures,” said Slykhuis, “and then about $1.2 million in less revenues.”

Slykhuis would have preferred to present the board with a budget in the black, but acknowledged sometimes a tight budget is good for the operation as a whole.

“Sometimes a tight budget gives you an opportunity to do some things that you should have been doing anyway,” he said.

“That said, I don’t want two years in a row of this because then it starts to really hurt and we don’t want to go there.”

The overall budget is $125 million, of which the $3.5 million shortfall accounts for 2.5 per cent.

The public board meeting is on Tuesday, May 6 at 7 p.m.For a further breakdown of the school district’s financial constraints, visit the website:

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Ben Holwerda of the Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club competes in a swim meet at the Landing Leisure Centre on Feb. 12, 2011. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre to close temporarily for scheduled maintenance

Pools, steam room, and sauna at Landing Leisure Centre closing for maintenance July 19 to Sep. 4

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read