Comox Valley Schools 2023-2024 preliminary budget

The Board of Education of School District No. 71 (Comox Valley) is accountable for the public funds that support the school district. One of the Board’s responsibilities is the adoption of the District’s preliminary budget.

Thus, Comox Valley Schools is beginning the preliminary budgeting process for the 2023-2024 school year. SD 71 is reaching out for feedback regarding our 2023-24 Budget Preparation. We value the Comox Valley feedback from residents with regards to this process.

The 2023-24 Annual Budget Preliminary Report can be seen here: 2023-24 Annual Budget – Preliminary Report

You can watch Secretary Treasurer Brenda Hooker’s Preliminary Budget Report presentation to the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 11 here.

Please submit feedback regarding the 2023-2024 Preliminary Budget here.

The Board is currently planning for the next school year, which includes:

  • Setting priorities for the delivery of student learning
  • Projecting student enrolment
  • Projecting the costs of status quo for next year (salaries, benefits, utilities, etc.)
  • Determining which costs will or could change
  • Managing inflation and supply chain cost pressures
  • Projecting revenues (international student fees, rental fees, interest revenue, Ministry grants, etc.)
  • Identifying strategies and options to address the net budget position (projected revenues less projected expenditures)
  • Reviewing the budget against the Board’s strategic priorities and school-based plans

The board will be meeting with and gathering information from employees, students and partner groups. Members of the community are welcome to submit ideas and suggestions below.

Highlights from the preliminary Budget 2023-2024 for SD 71

Enrolment Growth Projections

Student enrolment is the primary factor determining how much funding the District receives from the Ministry of Education, the number of staff to employ, and the number of classrooms and schools that are required and at which locations. Enrolment in September 2024 is projected to be 9,918 full-time equivalent (FTE) students, which is an overall increase of 146 students (FTE).

As you can see, enrolments have been increasing steadily since 2016 and SD71 now has more students than in 2001 when enrolment declines began for over 15 years.

Overall funding increasing

For the 2023-2024 school year, it’s projected that SD71 will receive $111,965,273  which is up $10.4 million from 2022-2023. However, it needs to be noted that over $8.6 million of the increase is directly related to unionized staff wage increases.

Cost pressures and expenses 

There are numerous cost pressures related to maintaining the ongoing level of programs and services in the district that need to be incorporated into our planning. The overall increase in projected costs for 2023-24 is approximately $10,495,286.

Preliminary Budget Position

After considering all the cost pressures and potential savings that are related to maintaining the ongoing level of programs and services in the district, the preliminary budget position for 2023-24 is a Net Budget Deficit of approximately $427,583.

However, the Ministry has not yet released the funding grants for the cost of living adjustments nor made a decision on whether or not exempt compensation will be funded. As well, the Finance department is still continuing to review school and department budget needs. Further revenue is anticipated along with further cost pressures.

Staff will continue to work towards presenting a draft annual budget in May. This may be delayed as several Ministry grants have not yet been finalized.

Next Steps

The budget development process and timelines have been developed to facilitate a consultation process that will ensure timely decisions are made to ensure a balanced budget in May and allow for implementation of the budget for the 2023-24 school year.

Throughout the consultation process, stakeholders and the public are being provided with this opportunity to provide input on budget themes to the Board and to provide feedback on the preliminary draft information presented.

Please submit your feedback regarding the 2023-2024 Budget for the board to consider here.

Feedback will be provided for the board to consider as they determine priorities for the months and years ahead.

The Board is required to approve an Annual Budget on or before June 30, 2023 for the 2023-24 school year.

Snapshot of Current Amended Budget 2022-2023