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UPDATED: Amended budget must be balanced — SD43 told
School District 43 has to submit a balanced budget even though it is facing a projected $7.5 million shortfall.
The budget exercise in cost-cutting is going on now and will be presented to the board of education Feb. 26 for approval.
Assistant secretary-treasurer Chris Nicolls confirmed that current projections show expenses are higher than revenue by $7.5 million and cuts to whittle down the shortfall will have to be included in the amended budget.
They will include the $5.5 million in non-staff cuts itemized Jan. 15 but likely also some salary and benefit cuts, he said, because salaries make up up most of budget spending.
"Ninety per cent [of the budget] is in salaries and benefits. It's difficult to do this without touching people," Nicolls said.
Meanwhile, the district has hired retired Okanagan-Skaha secretary treasurer Frank Roger to stick-handle finances until someone can be found to fill the post that was vacated when Rick Humphrey resigned, citing personal and medical reasons.
SD43 has pledged to make $5.5 million in non-staff cuts to bring spending under control by the end of June. If it accomplishes that task, it will still face a $2 million deficit, which will have to be accommodated in the following year's budget.