April 19/17: SD61 Greater Victoria Special Board Budget Meeting


Present: Tom Ferris (Vice Chair, in Chair), Elaine Leonard, Edith Loring-Kuhanga (chair, by phone), Diane McNally, Deborah Nohr, Peg Orcherton, Rob Paynter, Jordan Watters Ann Whiteaker

A. Commencement of Meeting
A.1 Adoption of Agenda: additions:

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Presentation at A.2

A.2 Budget Presentation (Pp 5-16 agenda; rentals Pp 167-21)

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Still have structural deficit; spending more than brought in  – expenses exceed revenues. Local revenue = provincial grants, International student fees, lease revenue. Operating revenue “surplus” kept back to help defray structural deficit. Classroom Enhancement Funds not in the totals on slide 8 “Funding Level Per FTE”.
  • Superintendent: Because the entire amount goes to teaching positions and does not change the operating budget. CEF is a special purpose fund. Will be a rise in non enrolling ratios because of local language – SD61 different from other districts.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Slide “School District Operating Spending  Including Classroom Enhancement Fund” – when SCC money comes in, SD61 will have one of the highest instructional $ %age in BC.
  • Watters: How long has SD61 had  a structural deficit? [Was $8.5 million when I was elected in 2011.]
  • Secretary-Treasurer: 15 years? Started with declining enrolment .   Slide “2017/2018 Operating Budget Considerations” : normally recommend rollover of surplus into structural deficit but there are significant needs in several areas next year. Class size and composition language restored drives space needs for coming year. Collective agreement language with GVTA is per capital higher than some other districts. SD61’s need will be above $15 million but have followed all requirement so hoping the gap will be funded.Province is fully funding the settlement with the BCTF. Staffing report will come on April 28.
  • Superintendent: Ministry will support Strong Starts but not child care or OSC.


B. Public Presentations on the 2017/18 Budget (5 minutes each): 12 speakers on Out of School Care, pre-schools, Little Red Schoolhouse .

  • McNally: Feel deep chagrin at not calling for more consultation with stakeholders before this.
  • Orcherton: Postpone any decision about Strawberry Vale Preschool  until further information on obligations and prior agreements on the part of both parties./ Moot (agreed to motion below)

i) Watters: add before Orcherton’s: : Postpone decision on rental increase for OSCs until further discussion and consultation with our stakeholders. / Carried. Unanimous.

  • Watters: Need to slow down and consult.
  • Orcherton: Child care not within the mandate of the K-12 system. Not enough information to decide tonight.
  • Superintendent: Funding from SCC is for K-12 education l only. Will have ramifications for OSCs and classrooms.
  • Paynter: Consider coming out to other meetings. Will bring notice of motion re consultation.
  • Whiteaker: History of out of school cares in SD61. Many started by parents.Often used kindergarten room after school.Schools acknowledged it was a good thing. Provides school connectedness community. Increase at this time doesn’t allow a real response. Will take  (via Vancouver Island Trustees Association)  Early Education motion to the BCSTA AGM for approval. Funding will be there in time. Invitation to ROSCO to get on board (Regional Out of School Care Operators group on Southern Vancouver Island ).
  • Loring-Kuhanga: SD61 / public schools not responsible for Out of School Care and daycares but they are of great benefit to students. Concerned with proposed huge increases and time frames for information.Board has demonstrated support for OSCs and daycares, but we have to find the space and we have to raise revenue in addition to Ministry funding which is still inadequate.
  • Nohr: Clear that we need to step back and reassess. Facilities Department has worked very hard re capital costs that have not been addressed over many years. Want to work through our values in strategic plan and address fiduciary responsibility as well.

Early Childhood Ed 1

Early Childhood Ed 2Early Childhood Ed 3Early Childhood Ed 4

[Background document here.]

C. 2017/18 Annual Budget
C.1 Annual Budget Debate
Recommended from (carried at) Operations Policy &Planning April 10/17
i) That the Board approve the proposed District facilities rental rates effective July 1/17 to support reinvestment in facilities and child care opportunities. /Defeated unanimously as amended. (see debate below.)

  • McNally: Amendment: Apart from OSC and daycare fees. / Amendment carried.
  • Paynter: Motion to table [postpone or refer!] until review of all rates for all community members. / Carried. People aren’t aware even if increases are posted. Need to make all aware.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Budget was posted on Twitter, on the website, and in various meetings  we have held on the budget.
  • Leonard: Need an ad hoc committee to study this. Nothing should happen re rental increases until January 2018, not July 1.
  • Ferris: Could give direction to the Superintendent  to bring back…
  • McNally: Question abut process – what are we discussing, Ferris’ suggestion here or Paynter motion on the floor? Are we debating “refer” or “table”? What?
  • Superintendent: July 1 rental reviews are not doable.Will come back with a reasonable timeline.Take to Public Engagement Committee? New implementation date and new process.


New Business: McNally: (Allocation of 2017/18 One Time Operating Budget Surplus (Pp 3,4 agenda) [“surplus” in this context means this year’s in and out balances but as if you still have a big credit card bill sitting in the background to deal with] ): That the Board approve allotting the 2017/18 one time operating budget surplus of $1.4 million as follows: Support for Student Technology $400K, Inclusive Learner Spaces [McNally objection to this term for student breakout rooms for students having difficulty in classrooms] $400K, Environmental Upgrades $200K, Shop Upgrades $400K.


  • Paynter: Add: Allocate up to $500,000 to YFCs and school counsellors to elementary schools not currently served with .5 FTE [half time at the school].
  • Orcherton: Need to divide the motion into , now 7, and consider all the options from OPP meeting separately.
  • Paynter: Can’t do this individually, have to look at it  globally.
  • Superintendent: Can take 5 minutes to present the options [for those who did not attend the Operations meeting where they were discussed].  #1: Expand student devices. Had consultation with DPAC. 2000-2300 devices. $ for pro-d, support classrooms, additions to team, as part of a front end load of support for 1 year. 1 individual doing that work woudl not work out. $950,000 cost of devices from Ministry fund. Evergreen fund $200,000 annually collected from schools; intend to use this to upgrade devices. #2: Heard from parents – need flexible teaching and learning. Won’t be able to deliver these spaces in one fell swoop but are starting. Working toward one in every school and then up. #3: This one will save us money.Remote control of heating- investment that will pay back. 20 schools need updating, 10 priority, 10 year payback.// Secretary-Treasurer: Can use operating funds for capital projects. District capital funds cover large projects. // #4: Structural deficit paydown. #5: Expand tech beyond what is currently available – for new spaces. #6: Continuing up the grades.  #7 added: Counselling in district, currently 12 individuals = 9 FTE. Decision was made to focus on high schools. Redistribute? Or cut teaching? One time funding; can only support people for 1 year. Need larger consultation with Board about wraparound services.
  • Loring-Kuhanga: That the Board postpone allocation of discretionary items  for 2018 Until the June or September Board meeting. / Defeated
  • Whiteaker: Refer [postpone!] to June Board meeting, senior administration to bring back suggested option. / Carried unanimously.

a) Recommended (by senior administration):
i.That the Board give all 3 readings of the 2017/18 budget Bylaw at this meeting. [Has to be carried unanimously.] / Carried. Unanimous.
ii.That the Board 2017/18 Annual Budget Bylaw $229,849,054 be read a 1st, 2nd, and 3d time, adopted April 19, and that the Secretary-Treasurer and Board Chair be authorized to sign, seal and execute this Bylaw on behalf of the Board.

D. Needs Budget Update

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Met at the end of January. SCC ramifications and impacts so wait until more comprehensive budget statement. Another meeting very soon.

E. Notice of Motions
i. Whiteaker: That the SD61 Board host the next VISTA (Vancouver Island School Trustees Association) meeting. In Spring 2018. / Carried. Unanimous. [Was a motion from the floor, not a Notice of Motion for a following meeting.]

ii) Paynter: Will bring motion re consultation process to future meeting.

F. Adjournment: 10:25 pm




About Diane McNally