Keeping revenue up with a decline in attendance isn’t easy, but SD54 has found a way.
At the Bulkley Valley School District 54 (SD54) June 18 meeting in Smithers, board members unanimously passed the districts 2019-2020 annual budget.
Also discussed was future projected enrolment for SD54.
The district has projected a decline in overall enrolment from 1967 to 1936 for the 2019-2020 school year, however those numbers are just an estimate.
“We have been managing student enrolment decline for several years [and] predictions are that [future] enrolment will stay constant and slightly increase over time,” said district superintendent Michael McDiarmid.
Total operating revenue comes in at around $22.5 million with expenses budgeted at $22.3 million for a modest surplus.
Instruction costs account for 73 per cent cent of expenses at $16.3 million, with operations and maintenance costs coming in at $3.6 million, or 16 per cent of the total figure.
The district has also budgeted approximately $1.1 million for both district administration and transportation.
One of the main differences in the budget from previous years is in how student funding is allocated.
On a per student basis, funding for Indigenous students has increased by just under 18 per cent, from $1,230 to $1,450, while funding for students with Level 1, 2 and 3 unique needs has increased in varying amounts, from just over 4 per cent to just under 10 per cent.
In total, unique student needs funding would increase by just under $360,000.
Secretary treasurer for SD54 Dave Margerm also noted that, despite a projected decrease in overall enrolment from 1967 to 1936, budgeted revenue has increased by about 1 per cent.
The board now breaks for summer, with their next scheduled meeting in September.
SD54 operates 7 schools in the Witset to Houston area.
The district also operates the Bulkley Valley Learning Centre in Smithers.