As part of the recent provincial budget announcement, school districts learned that they have to cut administrative costs over the next two years.
For the Vernon district, that will amount to about $850,000 combined.
“We’re quite anxious about it,” superintendent Joe Rogers told trustees Wednesday.
And that’s an understatement as school districts have been left completely in the dark.
Particularly, no one knows what the provincial government considers administration.
Is it simply department heads, superintendents and secretary-treasurers, or does it mean secretaries and other support staff at board offices?
Could the cuts impact principals and vice-principals?
“Does it mean transportation cuts?” said Rogers.
Instead of being transparent with school districts, the provincial government has created an information vacuum that has led to broad speculation about the potential scope of the cuts and likely some school district workers fearing for their jobs.
In a recent interview, Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster defended the provincial budget.
“What we are saying is districts must find efficiencies in administration,” he said.
“There won’t be cuts to the classrooms, that’s not the way it will work.”
But as a former school district employee, Foster should understand that staff in the district office are critical to the provision of services and the operation of schools.
Districts anticipate some financial details by March 13, and while that will allow planning to proceed, it’s obvious difficult decisions will have to be made.
Victoria gets a failing grade for communicating.