Province gives school district more money

Nanaimo school district will finish the year well in the black thanks to extra money from the province.

Nanaimo school district will finish the year well in the black thanks to extra money from the province.

The Education Ministry announced Friday it would distribute another $12.3 million as the final portion of the 2010-11 funding.

Secretary-treasurer Phil Turin said for Nanaimo, it means an extra $312,742.

“It’s always nice to get money,” he said. “We never know when these things are going to happen.”

This is the third round of hold-back money the province has distributed this year.

Each year, the province holds back money from districts as a contingency to pay for unforeseen enrolment increases or other emerging issues.

But because enrolment in every district was lower than expected, the province released hold-back funds in December, May and June.

Nanaimo got an extra $1.2 million in December, which helped ensure the district finished this school year in the black, then about $200,000 in May and the $313,000 in June.

Turin said this is an unusual year; sometimes districts do not receive any hold-back funds at all and so it was standard practice for many districts not to budget for it.

After the May hold-back was released, trustees debated reversing some of the cuts made to balance next year’s budget – the district was dealing with a $1.4-million shortfall – but decided to leave the issue until next fall.

Turin said the extra half million will hopefully carry over next fall as an unrestricted surplus, at which time he’ll make recommendations about what to do with the extra money. The district could need the money if there are more students than expected.

This year has been one of the most difficult budget years Turin has seen – a special education audit resulted in the province clawing back nearly $600,000 – about 30 education assistants – from the operating budget because some designated students did not meet ministry criteria.

There were also extra benefit costs, about 200 fewer students than expected and district staff froze $1 million from this year’s budget – every school had to take about $20 per student out of supplies budgets to make up this amount – to help balance next year’s budget and deal with the special education audit, he said.

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read