SD70 likely to lose funding protection

Alberni superintendent Greg Smyth said stabilizing enrollment means that SD70 could lose funding protection in the next few years.

Stabilizing enrolment is a double-edged sword for SD70, superintendent Greg Smyth said.

According to projections based on historical SD70 enrolment, participation rates and birth and migration raters, declining enrolment is coming to an end in SD70.

While this provides some measure of stability for the district, it also means an end to the district’s funding protection; that means the district will lose $500,000 in funding each year.

“Funding protection represents government’s commitment to school districts that have significantly decreasing enrolment to ensure that it has 98.5 per cent of the previous year’s budget,” Smyth told school trustees at their Jan. 13 meeting.

While the school district projections are subject to change, it’s likely to see an end to its funding protection in three or four years.

Smyth told trustees that since the district balances its budget every year, it’s living beyond its means and needs to align its spending in preparation for when SD70 comes out of funding protection.

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