Langley School District has a balanced operating budget for next school year, without having to go into its surplus.
The district is adding nine full time teachers, and has allocated funds to hire elementary school counsellors, said secretary-treasurer David Green at the June 16 school board meeting.
Trustees approved the $197 million operating budget for the 2015/16 year. The budget covers wages, benefits, resources and maintenance.
Closing Lochiel school site will bring a savings of $178,000 in its first year, said Green. The teachers strike saved the district a significant amount of money that they would normally pay teachers. Districts across B.C. weren’t sure if the government would ask for those savings, but it didn’t.
Tuition costs for international students were increased and the program has boomed, with more than 700 students coming to Langley from around the world next school year.
The new natural gas contract the district negotiated has produced large savings and will again in the future, said Green.
Grants achieved through B.C. Hydro have also helped with costs.
The district did see an increase in numbers of special needs children who need support. It also budgeted less for substitutes.
It also will see cost savings in the provincially mandated administration cuts.
By law, school districts in B.C. must submit a balanced budget to the Ministry of Education by June 30.
In comparison, Surrey’s budget for the same year is $618 million.