British Columbia

Saanich school board says it won't balance its budget

The Saanich school district is the latest school board to stand against the province's funding cuts by threatening to not balance its budget.

School trustees risk being fired if they do not present balance budget

School boards across B.C. are struggling to cover budget shortfalls they say are brought on by provincial funding cuts. (CBC)

The Saanich school district is the latest school board to stand against the province's funding cuts by threatening to not balance its budget.

Vancouver School Board trustees voted against balancing their budget Thursday night.

Saanich school trustees are scheduled to vote on their budget May 11.

The school board is proposing to approve a budget with a nearly $1 million deficit.

Like the VSB, the Saanich school district says it cannot balance its budget due to provincial funding cuts including $700,000 in administrative savings.

"What has really made the difference between us being able to balance our budget or not are the expenditures required and imposed by the provincial government," said Victoria Martin, chair of the Saanich school board.

High stakes

Many Saanich parents support the school board's message that it cannot go on with such large funding cuts.

"People within the system have been asking for change, have been calling attention to the problems and they are ignored," said James Taylor, president of the Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils in Saanich

"The only way this is going to change is if parents get involved."

But even with parents' support, the school trustees are putting their jobs at risk by refusing to present a balanced budget.

By law school districts in B.C. are required to submit a balanced budget by June 30.

Those who don't run the risk of being dismissed by the provincial government.

With files from On the Island

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