More teachers coming to Surrey this September

Reduced costs this year help school trustees balance their 2012-2013 budget.

There will be 57 new teachers in the Surrey school district come fall.

The Surrey Board of Education passed its preliminary operating budget for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year Thursday night, which included the additional teacher hires, as well as 87 more education assistants.

The total budget for 2012-2013 is $582 million, which includes $567.5 million in provincial government grants and $14.6 million in district-generated revenue from things like facility rentals, international student fees and corporate advertising.

Eighty-seven per cent of Surrey’s dollars, said Trustee Terry Allen, who chairs the budget committee, is allocated to classrooms and instruction. Two per cent is spent on administration, while the rest goes to maintenance and transportation.

The budget shows number of support staff district-wide is slated to rise by seven, while there will be two fewer principals.

Surrey is expecting 70,440 students – up about 150 from this year – in September, the most kids of any district in the province.

While some school boards in B.C. are struggling to submit balanced budgets, which is required by law, Surrey has managed to balance the books thanks to one-time savings during the current year on things such as snow clearing and utilities, as well as higher-than-budgeted revenues.

Trustees in Cowichan have voted to submit a deficit budget to government to demonstrate how much they say is truly needed to run that district. Minister of Education George Abbott has threatened to fire the trustees if they do so. All boards in B.C. must submit their budgets by June 30.

Final adjustments to Surrey’s budget may be made after Sept. 30, when actual student numbers are tallied.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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