The Saanich school board is staying the course on it's deficit budget stand.
Earlier this year, the board approved a deficit budget, including costs to restore class sizes after the Supreme Court of BC ruled Bills 27 and 28 unconstitutional.
However, Boards have until the end of June to submit their final budgets, and some speculated that the Saanich Board would reverse their decision. But in a 4-3 vote, the Board has decided to continue with the deficit budget.
The Board also passed a motion calling on the government to address the Court ruling immediately, and ensure there is no disruption next year.
This is a courageous stand on the part of Saanich Trustees.
CFAX reported some of the background and comments by Education Minister George Abbott:
A MOTION WAS PRESENTED WEDNESDAY NIGHT TO BALANCE THE BUDGET AND TAKE THE BOARD OFF A COLLISION COURSE WITH THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION. IT MEANS AT THE END OF JUNE THE SAANICH BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL HAND IN A $73.7 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET PLAN THAT'S $2.5 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE RED. THE PROVINCE REQUIRES SCHOOL BOARDS BALANCE THE BOOKS. THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, GEORGE ABBOTT, IS ON RECORD SAYING DISMISSAL OF THE ENTIRE BOARD IS AN OPTION. HE WROTE A LETTER TO THE DISTRICT 63 BOARD LAST WEEK STATING HE EXPECTED A BALANCED BUDGET AS REQUIRED BY THE SCHOOL ACT. THE DEFICIT REPRESENTS WHAT MANY ON THE BOARD OF EDUCATION SEE AS FUNDING FOR VITAL SERVICES THEY CAN'T CUT.