#BCed schools cut budgets, struggle with shortfalls, layoff teachers #bcpoli #yteubc

Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun–

• [Vancouver Budget reductions] will result in more than 26 full-time positions being eliminated, on top of the 24 positions already slated to be cut due to declining enrolment or previous decisions, such as a plan to close an adult education centre…. The school board is forecasting a $26.6-million shortfall for the 2015-16 school year and a $3.76-million shortfall for the 2016-17 year, when enrolment is projected to increase. School board elections will be held this fall.

• Coquitlam trustees passed a balanced budget this week that included cuts to make up for a $13.4-million shortfall. Those cuts included 163 positions, including teachers, support staff, special education assistants and school administrators. Parents in the district are planning a rally against the cuts on Friday at MLA Linda Reimer’s office in Port Moody.

• In Langley, the school district’s budget is short by $3 million, and the district will look at program changes, staffing cuts, reductions in supplies and possibly school closures, the Langley Advance reported.

• In North Vancouver, after cost cutting last year, the budget for next year includes a $2.6-million surplus that will be used to maintain staff levels next year and pay for increased costs like the CUPE wage increases and BC Hydro rate hikes, according to the North Shore News.

• The Chilliwack school district is facing a $3.1-million shortfall, but hopes to balance its budget through attrition and reorganization rather than job cuts, the Chilliwack Progress reported.

• The Burnaby school district passed a balanced budget earlier this month that included the elimination of 27 positions to cover a $3.1-million shortfall. The changes include larger class sizes to eliminate 11 teachers and cuts to custodial staff at many schools.

• The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district passed a balanced operating budget on Wednesday night, including cuts to cover a $5.02-million shortfall. The cuts included classroom teachers, English language learning staff, clerical staff, information technology staff, the elimination of a summer reading program, changes to student transportation and other cuts.

• Trustees in New Westminster passed a balanced budget this week, making up a $2.69-million shortfall by cutting night school, increasing class sizes, and laying off more than 25 employees, the Royal City Record reported. Some of those layoffs may be avoided if enrolment is higher than anticipated.

• The Surrey school district is expected to have budget information available at its May 15 public board meeting, but the district has said it is facing a shortfall.

• West Vancouver has presented preliminary budget proposals calling for the use of $1.5 million in surplus funds to balance the budget, which will be voted on May 20.

Read more: Vancouver Sun

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