Mission school district has three-year repayment plan

School district has built a $350K surplus into the budget to address deficit, said secretary-treasurer.

A deficit accumulated by the end of the 2010/2011 school year will take Mission Public Schools District (MPSD) approximately three years to pay down, said the secretary-treasurer.

Presented at the recent school board meeting, trustees heard the district has a $972,975 debt, and will manage this by putting $350,000 a year towards it, said Carrie McVeigh.

A number of items contributed to the final tally, including lower than projected enrolment numbers, which meant staffing couldn’t be adjusted in time, and the addition of a new, unbudgeted bus route.

As well, more educational assistants were needed and certain budget decreases were not able to be realized, said McVeigh.

The district was aiming to trim costs in substitute teachers and the facilities budget, but it was not possible.

McVeigh said while nothing is absolute, she is confident the district has planned as best it could for the coming year, and beyond.

Some savings were found through last year’s closure of Durieu Elementary School, located about 20 minutes east of Mission, as well as reducing the number of teachers and youth care workers, plus the elimination of one program at Riverside.

District staff planned a 26 full-time equivalent (FTE) reduction amongst all the employee groups to help balance the 2011/2012 budget, said McVeigh.