Facing a $4 million deficit, the Nanaimo school board continues discussions on ways to balance its budget and administrative staff could be among the casualties.
Administrative staff cuts had been a topic of discussion during last year’s budget meetings and were part of suggestions made during the recent budget consultations.
A recent budget presentation by Graham Roberts, acting school district secretary-treasurer, pointed to Nanaimo district administration wages being the second highest among eight districts with comparable full-time equivalent student numbers.
Steve Rae, school board chairman, said trustees want to keep cuts as far from the classroom as possible.
“We’re mandated by the government to do our share, which totals roughly around $700,000 this year in administrative cuts, so we are going to have administrative cuts.
“We’re talking about people here, we’re talking about their lives and this is a stressful time for us all … as important as our teachers and support workers are, our administration is equally important,” said Rae.
The school district has a surplus of about $4.1 million, which was carried over from last year. Rae said the district shouldn’t spend the entire sum.
“It would be irresponsible of us as a board to spend it all. We have to keep some in a rainy day fund, but certainly not $4 million,” Rae said.
Budget discussions will take place in the coming weeks and finalized in early May. The deadline to submit to the province is June 30.