School District 73 board of education approved a $207-million budget for the upcoming 2022-23 school year during its regular board meeting on April 25.
The budget is separated into three categories, operating, capital and special purpose. Roughly $173 million is earmarked for the school district’s operating fund, which includes professional and support staff salary as well as benefits, $20.5 million for special purpose, including strong start and communityLINK, and another $13.4 million for the capital budget, which will put new portables in Sun Peaks and add an expansion to Valleyview Secondary School.
It also focused on allocating funds to provide resources for the reopening of Ralph Bell Elementary school in Kamloops, welcoming 190 students into the rejuvenated space this year due to enrolment pressure in Juniper Ridge.
Funding from the 2022-23 budget will also support 13 catchment changes through additional bus routes and space, as well as custodial and administrative staffing.
“While this budget considers a modest increase in student enrolment, we have seen significant enrolment growth in our district in the last five years,” said Heather Grieve, SD73 board chair. “With Kamloops being named one of the five fastest-growing communities in the province, the projected increase in enrolment is likely to change.”
The Ministry of Education and Child Care noted it would not be increasing the per student full-time equivalent funding amount this year, as it awaits the conclusion of collective bargaining for teachers and support staff. The district currently receives $7,885 per standard schooling student and fluctuates based on status.
“We look forward to early learning expansion with the new Ministry of Education and Childcare,” said Superintendent D. Rhonda Nixon. “Special purpose funds for early learning, especially, are much needed during this time of enrolment growth and programming changes.”