After all the fuss and muss the Vancouver School Board has a de facto balanced budget although several dominoes have yet to fall.
Trustee Janet Fraser says with the Board voting against a final budget the school district’s superintendent now must implement the preliminary budget.
“What our superintendent has told us is that he is required to implement a balanced budget so we can get our schools ready for September and we don’t incur any financial liability. So yes the balanced budget will be implemented and my understanding is that it will be this week.”
Fraser says despite last month’s “no” vote on the budget, for now, jobs could still be on the chopping block.
“My understanding is that the amended budget proposals as they stood at our April 28th meeting would be what he would implement. I think within that there is about 150 staff positions cut and that is what he will be implementing.”
Fraser says the superintendent will begin his work this week and will reach out to the various unions affected by layoffs.
Late last month, the VSB voted 5-4 in favour of rejecting a budget containing $24-million in cuts to programs and teaching positions.
That document, a result of a massive deficit in the district’s operating budget.
Green Trustee Janet Fraser proved to be the swing vote siding with Vision Vancouver.
However, the Schools Act gives the province the power to fire the board if it does not produce a balanced budget.
Last week, Education Minister Mike Bernier met with VSB Chair Mike Lombardi and vice chair Janet Fraser, and agreed to have district and ministry staffers work on a compromise.
The Vancouver School Board still faces a June 30th deadline to either let its vote against the budget stand, with possible repercussions from the minister, or vote to approve a balanced budget.