In an effort to advocate against educational underfunding, Nanaimo school district trustees asked staff to create a ‘restorative budget.’
The district business committee requested staff prepare what it refers to as a restorative budget in April using staffing and financial numbers from 2002-03. Based on that report, there is a shortfall of $1.15 million for teachers, $352,170 for principals and vice-principals, $984,042 for support staff and an overall $4.8 million shortfall between the two years.
Steve Rae, school board chairman, said the budget is a high-level report of what the district believes, that if it was funded properly, that it would need.
Correspondence from district stakeholders – Nanaimo teachers’ union, district parent advisory and parent advisory councils, support workers’ union – will be included, Rae said.
The committee is recommending that Rae pen a letter to the provincial government stating the district is worried about its ability to improve educational results as money from the province hasn’t kept pace with the costs charged to school districts.
Rae said the district has done its part in working toward providing provincially mandated balanced budgets and now it’s the ministry’s turn.
“They’ve left us with a very difficult job to do … I get that we need to be responsible, I get it’s our obligation to be responsible. We’re spending taxpayers’ money, but Jiminy Christmas, the underfunding of education everybody knows about, it’s not a secret, we’re not the only district that is struggling with this,” said Rae.
Rae said he’s reached out to the provincial government to set up a meeting to discuss the matter, but has not heard back yet.
The recommendation will go before the school board at its June 25 regular meeting.