School board sticks with budget

Nanaimo school trustees are standing firm on next year’s budget.

The board met for a special meeting Wednesday to reconsider cuts made to secretarial and janitorial time.

The discussion was suggested by Carol McNamee, vice-chairwoman of the board, because the district received additional and unexpected money from the province soon after trustees finalized a budget with $1.4 million in cuts.

Trustee Jamie Brennan said the board defeated the motion to reconsider these cuts and the additional money – about $130,000 – will carry over to next year as part of the district’s contingency funds.

“There’s still a great deal of uncertainty with regard to our financial situation,” said Brennan.

If the district turns out to have any surplus in the fall, trustees will look at how to spend the money then, he said.

“Staff will advise us if there are any needs in classrooms not being met,” said Brennan, adding that he would like to see any extra spending go directly into classrooms.

“If we’re going to spend more money, let’s direct it towards something that has a more immediate and direct impact on student learning,” he said. “We’ve cut our school supplies budgets drastically in the past year.”