Chilliwack school district not giving up on budget talks

Public invited to learn more about $130 million education budget

  • Jan. 23, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Despite low attendance at a similar event last year, the Chilliwack School Board will once again hold a public budget presentation in an effort to educate the community about the process. School District No. 33 is currently working with a budget of almost $130 million, and the presentation will offer insight into interesting line items such as transportation and program costs, revenues, salaries and savings.

The presentation will take place on March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Neighbouhood Learning Centre at Chilliwack secondary. It will take the same format as last year’s, and will outline the budget for the school district. It will also include information on projected enrolments, revenue, strategic plan and the larger items the school district is planning for.

In his report to the board, secretary treasurer Gerry Slykhuis said the idea behind the public presentation is to educate those in the community who want to learn more about the budget process. With that in mind, questions and comments are encouraged at the meeting.

The decision to hold the meeting came from a earlier budget committee meeting comprising representatives from within the education system. The board unanimously passed the decision to hold the presentation meeting at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Budget amendment

In the meantime, the board dealt with the first reading of an amended budget for the current school year, 2014-2015. Amendments to the $129.8 million budget included adjustments for expenses and revenues due to the strike, and new Learning Improvement Funds that have increased the district’s capacity for special needs students.

The board approved the first reading unanimously, but that was after trustee Heather Maahs made a motion to have all three readings of the amended budget. The motion died in a 3-3 split, with Trustee Barry Neufeld absent.