Higher enrolment means more money for School District 42

Operating funds from the education ministry allotted on a per-pupil basis

staff reporter

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district will fund an additional 100 hours of wages for special education assistants each week, after calculating higher-than-expected enrolment this school year.

The total school-age enrolment in the district was estimated at 13,548 students, but actually came in at 13,669.5 students, for a difference of 121.5.

Operating funds from the provincial education ministry are allotted on a per-pupil basis, and the unexpected student enrolment means the board should receive an estimated $800,000 more than budgeted.

“The actual amount will be known in December, when the ministry announces the interim operating grants for school districts,” noted a report to the board from secretary treasurer Flavia Coughlan.

“The budget impact of these changes will be reflected in the amended budget.”

Earlier this year, the board had to cut $5.66 million from its $130 million budget for the present school year.

That resulted in the loss of 35 positions across the district.

Community groups and sports teams have been complaining about fees for rental of gymnasiums and other school facilities being hiked dramatically.

Coughlan recommended the additional funding for special education assistants, at a cost of $150,000, be allocated immediately, before the entire budget revision, and that was accepted by the board on Wednesday night.


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