Langley trustees upset about cuts to administration budget

Langley is in a better position than many other districts, as it is facing a $1.9 million deficit.

The Ministry of Education has sent a message to every school board in the province to make cuts this year in administrative costs. But some Langley trustees warn those cuts will be felt in the classroom.

School boards have been told to find $29 million in savings through cutting administration costs.

Langley School District spends about three per cent of its $186 million budget on administration, that includes principals and vice principals.

“The district will have to submit a savings plan to the ministry,” said secretary-treasurer David Green at the last board meeting (March 10). “We may need to find $1 million in savings per year.”

The district has had to add administration staff, such as maintenance and district level staff, because they have opened three new schools.

Trustee Megan Dykeman was livid about the cuts and vocalized her disapproval, urging taxpayers to remember this come election time.

“We need to get real with the ministry at some point,” said Dykeman.

“We can’t cut and (have) it not affect students. We have built new schools — we have to staff them. This is a shell game and it’s ludicrous. We already have students bringing their own paper. Maybe we should ask them to start bringing their own toilet paper to school too.”

She said it is no secret the Liberal government is looking at amalgamating school boards to save money.

Trustee David Tod also shared his concern that the cuts will be felt in the classroom and in programming.

“Come April 1, MSP and utilities are going up. I’m not sure how we can find savings. We won’t be able to insulate the students in our care. We are cutting to the bone,” said Tod.

Trustee Rod Ross then asked if increasing international student fees would help with savings.

Last year, Langley increased the fees by $500 per student. The district relies heavily on the revenue from international students.

Langley is in a better position than many other districts, as it is facing a $1.9 million deficit.