After much fanfare, The Vancouver School Board has managed to eliminate its deficit, and is prepared to submit a provincially-mandated balanced budget at the end of the month.
Vision trustee Patti Bacchus says staff made some tough decisions to erase an eight million dollar shortfall.
“That budget included reductions to adult education was quite significant, some cuts to music programs in elementary schools, a plan to see furniture and equipment and lease it back to find administrative savings, and this budget that we will be looking at Monday night, and I suspect the board will approve it, it really is the same budget that we had back in April.”
Bacchus says the Ernst and Young independent audit commissioned by the province failed to come up with short-term cost saving initiatives, and had little impact on this year’s budget.
“What we found with the E and Y report is that it really hasn’t changed that budget picture, they really didn’t find any areas of short term savings that haven’t already been identified by staff at the Vancouver School Board.”
A staff report says of the 49 “EY” recommendations, 7 are considered completed, 19 in progress, and the remaining 23 will be considered by the Board this fall.
The total operating budget is almost 497 million dollars.