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Kootenay Lake School Board adopts $69 million budget

The 2019-20 budget holds a slight one percent increase from last year.

In a media release, the Kootenay Lake School Board announced it has adopted the 2019-2020 Annual Budget Bylaw at an open meeting on May 30 at the board office on Johnstone Road in Nelson.

The amount of the adopted budget is  $69,090,090, a slight overall increase of one percent from the 2018-19 budget with increases in spending for diverse learners and Aboriginal education.

“We wanted to have things structured differently this year and strived for a collaborative, inclusive, balanced budget process,” School District 8 – Kootenay Lake Superintendent, Dr. Christine Perkins said in the media release.

Perkins says the new budget holds some modest increases and is pleased with the way things went.

The District was able to incorporate nearly 8000 thoughts on the budget process through the use of community intelligence software ThoughtExchange

The release said feedback to the School Board office came from students, staff, parents and community.  Priorities that crystallized from this survey focused on mental health, early learning, and continued professional development for both CUPE and KLTF staff.

“We will be hiring two new positions, a Manager of Safe Schools and Coordinator of Mental Health and Addictions," said Perkins. "This addresses the attention we need to pay to the social and emotional needs of our learners."

“We are happy to be able to continue with year two of our Focus," said Board Chairperson, Lenora Trenaman,

"Learn. Excel. initiative to assist in improving achievement for our students, including early learning, and we are pleased to continue with year two of our technology modernization plan with website upgrades, infrastructure upgrades, and support improvements.”

Creative ideas to lower costs came from all participants. One proposal from the Principals and Vice-Principal’s was a district-wide base Elementary School Fee for supplies for $40. 

"This should help to get better prices for supplies and be more equitable and affordable for our young families,” said Secretary-Treasurer Michael McLellan.

As for new Capital Spending, School District 8 will be proceeding with the following:

2019-2020 New Capital Grants - Total $2,674,762

  • Annual Facilities Grant - Capital Portion - $1,094,762
  • School Enhancement Program LVR Dust Collector - $300,000 – to be completed over summer 2019
  • School Enhancement Program Hume windows - $750,000 – to be completed over summer 2019
  • School Enhancement Program Various - $425,000
  • Playground Winlaw - $105,000

Other Approved Future Capital Projects:

  • Blewett Expansion - Expect $100,000 of Local Capital spend in 2019-2020 on Preparation