SD73’s Draft Annual Budget 2023-2024: A Summary of Allocations and Expenditures

Posted On Thursday April 06, 2023

Board Chair, Heather Grieve

On April 6, 2023, the Board of Education presented the Draft 2023-2024 Annual Budget, and how allocations were aligned to the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan priorities.

Budget Allocations

The Board reviewed an estimated $230 Million budget comprised of three budgets: Operating Fund ($192M): The Ministry of Education and Child Care funds districts based on student enrolment and district location; Special Purpose Fund ($24.1M): The Ministry of Education and Child Care or a third party provides districts with funds for a targeted, restricted, or designated purpose; and Capital Fund ($12.7M): The Ministry of Education and Child Care provides funds for new schools, capital improvements, furniture, equipment, vehicles, buses, and playgrounds. The $7.65M increase in 2023-2024 compared to the 2022-2023 annual budget is mainly due to an increase in the per student allocation rates.  In addition, there was an increase in the Ministry’s allocation for the Annual Facilities Grant (+ $750K) to maintain our facilities.

At the time of this budget presentation, the Ministry allocations did not include escalating inflationary costs (supplies, utilities) or exempt salary increases (principals, vice principals, other excluded staff positions). The pressures on the budget are: relief costs (Due to health standards changing following COVID, there is a “new” norm of doing what is right and staying home when sick); and the need for additional staff supports–mental health (counseling), administrative time, and non-enrolling teachers who support students such as Learning Assistance Resource Teachers. Therefore, the Board has included estimated costs as part of this budget that address these areas.

Budget Priorities

Intellectual Development Priority. Through an operating budget allocation of $2.8M and targeted funding of $660K we will continue to focus on professional learning and equitable access to classroom resources for all students. Particular attention will be given to student populations who have historically struggled to reach literacy and numeracy goals. Early Learning targeted special purpose funds ($464K) support strong preschool programs (e.g., Seamless Day, Just B4, StrongStart, Ready Set Learn) and a District Principal of Early Learning and Child Care. Official Languages in Education Programming targeted funds ($196K) enable our district to strengthen French Immersion students’ chances of excelling in French through quality teaching and instructional resources.

Human and Social Development Priority. In SD73, we strive to ensure that all students feel safe, welcome, connected, and that they belong in school. Through an Operating budget allocation of $3.2M, we will provide professional learning in Universal Design for Learning, social emotional, mental health, and inclusive sexual health education; and provide complex needs students with access to inclusive supports including contracted services. Highly specialized staff ranging from inclusive support teachers, mental health clinicians, second language coordinators, Aboriginal Outreach Workers, Aboriginal Support Teachers, and Aboriginal Education Workers, are foundational to the success of meeting the needs of all students.

CommunityLINK targeted funding ($1.6M) expands what can be done in schools to support social emotional learning through parent engagement and initiatives to support families such as Powerstart (i.e., children are picked up from home and taken to school and provided with breakfast).  Funds also support staff to participate in Inclusive Sexual Health Education. Due to the Ministry of Education and Child Care’s decision to put a permanent nutrition fund in place, we have been able to redirect funds for food ($233K) originally budgeted in CommunityLINK to add 2.0 FTE for counseling services. On April 4, 2023, the Ministry of Education and Child Care announced this fund as the “Feeding the Futures” Fund. SD73 will receive $1.9M.

Cultural and Identity Development Priority. Through an operating budget allocation of $646K and the Aboriginal Education Targeted Fund ($5.3M), SD73 prioritizes human rights education to enable every student to thrive personally and culturally, and to learn in an environment free of racism, discrimination, sexism, harassment, and homophobia. The strategies to meet these goals are to continue with large-scale, team-based professional learning and to take an active part in cultural days of importance as well as working with student groups to understand their experiences of barriers to achieving this priority. We will continue to recruit language teachers and to focus on the recruitment of Aboriginal Education Workers.

Career Development Priority. Through an operating fund allocation of $1.3M for trades and transitions, career education, and high school completion support, we sustain strong high school graduation rates and post-secondary transition rates. We will continue to allocate funds to district and school staffing that will support students to complete high school and to have timely academic advising to identify post-secondary options. Through an operating fund allocation of $5.1M for the International Student Education Program with a net amount of $280K annually, we ensure that International students thrive academically, socially, emotionally, and culturally. We will continue to provide positive homestay experiences and robust activity programming.

Systems Development Priority. Several departments including Finance, Transportation, Facilities, Information Technology, Communications and Human Resources are part of this priority. We aim to allocate resources responsibly, fairly and sustainably to ensure students improve continuously within our educational system. Our goals are to recruit hard-to-fill positions in a very competitive market; to develop timely and high quality training, coaching and professional development programs for all employee groups; to maintain facilities and buses; to optimize transportation routes; to ensure that we have optimal spaces (facilities, Internet, and video conference access) for learning and working; and to source parts and services to meet the timelines and needs of the District along with management of unpredictable inflationary costs.

The allocation for facilities which includes facility maintenance, information technology and grounds have a combined staffing and benefit budget of $16.6M for 210 employees which includes administration. clerical, trades, grounds, custodians and information technologists.  Within both the Special Purpose Fund and the Capital Fund, the District receives an Annual Facility Grant $702K within Special Purpose and $3.69 Million within the Capital Fund. The Annual Facility Grant Spending plan includes roofing repairs, improvements to walkways and play spaces, new rollshutters and window packages, flooring, sprinklers, to name a few examples. We are pleased with the Ministry’s increase of $735K in additional funding in Annual Facility Grant. 

The allocation for the Transportation Department is $5.26M for staffing and $1.98M Supplies and Services, which includes administration and professional development, and supports such as bus passes for students and transportation assistance. The transportation special purpose fund, the BC Tripartite Education Agreement ($182K), is an agreement between the Province of British Columbia, These funds support a contracted bus route, parent transportation and extra curricular activities.

In the Finance Department, including payroll and purchasing, $1.48M has been allocated for staffing and benefits, $37K for professional development, $541K for School Protection Plan Insurance, facility leases, and contracted services, $42K in administrative expenses $42K, and $110K for a shared audit, legal and office expenses. The Communication and Education Department is allocated $997K for salaries and benefits, dues and fees, administration, shared audit, legal, and office costs, a website and events and advertising allocation.

Budget Costs

The budget costs considered in the 2023-2024 budget include: Increase in Elementary Prep Time $331K),  additional administrative time for schools ($161K),  future capital projects ($250K), local capital ($500K), utility inflationary costs ($73K), re-opening of George Hilliard ($333 K), Grade reconfiguration/relocation costs ($418K), McGowan facility/staffing if enrolment increases ($100,000), Wechsler Individual Achievement Test ($30K), four (4) portable classrooms ($35K), District Employee Engagement Survey ($20K), Website rebranding ($80K). The costs that are additional and not yet considered in the Draft 2023-2024 Annual Budget: additional Learning Assistant Resource Teacher time, inflationary costs, tech software, Facilities/IT/Finance/HR staffing, and additional capital replacement costs ($2.2M).

Please review the Draft 2023-2024 Annual Budget at and offer your feedback at  by April 18, 2023.

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