The Okanagan Skaha School Board has cut its budget and dipped into accumulated savings and reserves in order to address a $1.5 million budget shortfall.
On Monday, the school board adopted its 2013-2014 preliminary operating budget.
In order to meet the shortfall, the district relied on accumulated savings and reserves of $900,000 and further budget cuts of around $600,000
“Our long-term planning strategy has again allowed us to mitigate the effects of a funding shortage; however, reductions to services and programs are still necessary this year,” said Ginny Manning, chair of the school board.
The reductions include reductions to the gifted program, the deaf/hard of hearing teacher, helping teachers, behaviour program, supply, equipment and travel budget cuts, maintenance and custodial cuts, reductions to clerical staff and administration reductions.
The school district is estimating the largest drop in enrolment in recent years, which will lead to further funding shortfalls.
A separate Learning Improvement Fund will be available once again this year. The fund provides additional resources to support challenging learning conditions.
The plan for this fund must be completed by Oct. 15.
“I am pleased that the Learning Improvement Fund will again be available this year and we will be able to add staffing and resources to educationally challenging areas,” Manning said.