Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bluewater budget difficulties

The Sun Times reports on the Bluewater District School Board's budget difficulties in today's paper, an interesting one given the board is in the midst of a process to 'fix' its culture of secrecy, etc.
Vice-chairwoman Jan Johnstone expressed similar frustration throughout the budget discussion, questioning Booth on almost every item and insisting to know what funding was provided for each category and suggesting "only that for which we receive will we spend."
"Stick to the amount we get for staff development -- $360,000 -- and don't even think of spending over $800,000," Johnstone said, adding she was pleased $450,000 had already been cut from the staff development budget.
"But we need to go further," she said, suggesting the board write a letter to the Ministry of Education toe demand more funding.
"If they mandate something they need to provide the dollars to fund it," Johnstone said, requesting repeatedly for Booth to provide trustees with a list of what funding the board receives and what each area of the budget actually costs.
These are challenges being faced by other boards in the province, as they try and rationalize millions in new funding to pay for salaries and benefits versus specific areas where the Ministry of Education has said they must cut.
Surprisingly, other than when the staff layoff / redundancies have been announced, there has been precious little coverage of the actual budget challenges facing virtually every board.