Enrollment Down Locally

Published on October 26, 2020

School funding cut by $1.2 million as enrolment shrinks; district to offset loss with reduced staffing.

A school funding shortfall of $1.2 million in the Vernon district will be offset by reduced instruction costs.

Provincial funding is reduced this year due to lower than anticipated enrolment.

There are 8,492 students enrolled in School District 22 this fall – that’s a decrease of 33 from last year, and 86 fewer than projected.

That accounts for $768,394 of the shortfall total.

Other contributing factors include reduced enrolment in ESL, Aboriginal, and special education programs.

The Ministry of Education calculates funding based on enrolment as of Sept. 30.

“This enrolment is less than budgeted, and so the operating grant will be less than budgeted,” a report to the SD22 board education states.

The reductions are as follows:

All school age students – $768,400
English language learners and Indigenous students – $43,900
Students with special education designations – $417,700
Total – $1,230,000
The original budget anticipated 13 fee-paying international students. The district currently has 43.

“The reduction in regular enrolment means that there is space in existing classes to teach these students without increasing staffing,” the report states. “This is forecast to result in an increase in net income from the International Program of about $300,000.”

The enrolment variance also means two elementary schools will make do with one fewer division, reducing staff costs by about $180,000.

Fewer education assistants are also needed, for a cost saving of about $460,000, not requiring any layoffs.

Added together, the savings result in a $290,000 shortfall.

An operating surplus of $881,416 remains from last school year.

Average class sizes this year are down slightly to 18 in kindergarten to Grade 3, 23 in Grades 4-7, and 22 in Grades 8-12.

Source: Castanet News
Year: 2020