Deficit budget plans get Education Minister's finger wagging
Education Minister George Abbott says he expects Cowichan school trustees to pass a balanced budget, just as the board moves to adopt a deficit fiscal plan.
School District 79's board of education is slated to give first and second reading to the deficit budget on Wednesday. It's expenditures amount to $3,771,661 more than district will receive as revenue from the Ministry of Education.
It's the board's aim to seek that additional funding from the province in order to balance the books.
But Abbott has released the following statement to the News Leader Pictorial:
"In recognition of the challenges presented by declining enrolment in the Cowichan Valley School District, government is providing $2 million in supplemental funding protection to the district next year," he said.
"Boards of education, including the Cowichan Valley board of education, have a legal responsibility under the School Act to pass a balanced budget by June 30, 2012 and after completing its budget deliberations this spring, I fully expect the board to uphold their responsibility."
However, Cowichan's nine-member board is split 5-4 in favour of submitting a deficit "restoration" budget, in an effort to pressure the government to provide more funding to districts, and prevent further cutbacks.