School District 23 expecting budget pressures even with new grant

Chairperson for the Central Okanagan School District says a surprise one-time grant from the province is good news, although it won't alleviate budget pressures the board is facing.

Moyra Baxter says even with the just over $1 million grant announced on Sunday, the board will find itself in a budget squeeze.

“One way to look at is, it’s always good when we suddenly find that we’re getting some extra money,” she says “this doesn’t in any way alleviate the budget pressures that we’re still expecting to find ourselves in”

The province is giving a total of $29.4-million to school districts across the province through the new Student Learning Grant.

Baxter says the board has consistently found that funding does not cover all extra expenses each year and would like to see more coming in to schools.

“There should be more money coming into public education, we’re on record as saying that,” she says “It would be lovely if we heard this was going to be an ongoing grant, that they were going to increase education funding on an ongoing basis”

The board hasn't met yet to discuss how to use the money, but Baxter says it might go towards resources that had to previously be cut.

“We’ve cut that across the board several times so this would perhaps help alleviate some of those pressures that we have in essence downloaded to the schools”

The money is to be used for learning resources, supplies or equipment.