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Balanced school district budget predicted

The Abbotsford school district will not be facing the same major cuts that it had to make last year, according to the 2011/12 preliminary budget.

Secretary-treasurer Ray Velestuk said the projected deficit is currently sitting at about $500,000, but adjustments will be made before final approval on May 30.

“I don’t anticipate having any difficulty meeting a balanced budget this year,” he said.

Preliminary projections call for total revenues of $158,975,000, compared to $159,471,000 in expenses, accounting for a deficit of $496,000.

Velestuk said decisions on any necessary adjustments will be made once more definitive revenue and spending numbers come in, but he said no major cuts will result.

Last year, the district faced a $6-million shortfall. The biggest impact was to staffing, with more than 70 positions eliminated.

Of the almost $159 million in revenue for 2011-12, $150.6 million comes from operating grants. This includes $129.1 million in per-student funding, based on a projected total enrolment of 19,100.

Projected expenses include almost $113 million for salaries, accounting for 71 per cent of the preliminary budget. Another 17 per cent is dedicated to benefits, and 12 per cent goes to supplies.

More information on the budget can be found online at sd34.bc.ca.

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