Ҵý District Passes 2024/25 Preliminary Budget Amid Funding Challenges | Announcements | Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Ҵý District 42


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Ҵý District Passes 2024/25 Preliminary Budget Amid Funding Challenges

May 10, 2024 12:21 PM

Following an extensive community consultation process, the Board of Education has approved its Preliminary Budget for the 2024/25 school year. The approved budget aims to deliver on key priorities in the challenging context of chronic underfunding of public education.

“We have worked hard to try to balance the needs on the system against the current, ongoing and increasing budgetary constraints,” said Board Chairperson Elaine Yamamoto. “As a board, we are especially grateful for the high levels of public participation in this year’s budget process, which have helped guide our decision-making.”

In response to community feedback, the board is maintaining all eight of its StrongStart programs, which it had originally proposed to reduce from eight to seven. Hearing the need for additional support for the maintenance of school grounds, it also increased the added hours for grounds staff from 600 to 800 for 2024/25. Other key areas of investment include the extension of kindergarten transition support from eight to fifteen weeks, an allocation of funding for psychoeducational assessments for students throughout the district, literacy helping teacher and numeracy support, and funding to support student-led design and creation of school spaces that improve sense of belonging, safety, and inclusivity for all learners.

“We have tried to address as many areas of need as we could but have had to draw on our current year surplus to cover our funding shortfall for next year,” Yamamoto noted. “Unfortunately, this means those surplus funds cannot be used to purchase portable classrooms to accommodate our increasing student population, and it creates a structural deficit that we will need to address in next year’s budget, making continued board advocacy for adequate provincial funding essential.”

The district is grappling with numerous funding pressures, including provincial inequities in CommunityLINK and Equity of Opportunity allocations, persistent and increasing shortfalls in funding for early learning programs including StrongStart, insufficient funds for student transportation, inadequate funding for facilities maintenance, growing enrolment and resulting space requirements, and escalating costs driven by inflation.

“All of these pressures put stress on our system and on our budget,” said Yamamoto. “As we move forward, the board remains committed to navigating the challenges of funding and infrastructure needs while prioritizing the educational outcomes and well-being of our students. We are grateful for the community’s active participation and interest, which have been pivotal in shaping this budget.”

A summary of public feedback received and how this feedback was used in the preparation of the 2024/25 Preliminary Budget is available on the district website at /assets/media/Proposed-Preliminary-Budget-Public-Engagement-Summary-2024-25.pdf.

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