The Surrey Board of Education plans to hire 161 new staff members for the upcoming school year.
With nearly 800 new students expected this fall, the district plans to hire 70 additional teachers, 81 education assistants, two school administrators, four professional staff and four support staff.
The total number of students in the district is 71,115 – making Surrey the largest school district in the province.
The board also faces a $6.7-million deficit from last year, however a $6.3-million surplus from administrative savings will balance most of the deficit.
The surplus comes from money not spent on snow clearing, filling vacant positions and utility cost savings, as well as district revenues.
Last month, B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier announced that $25 million in mandated administrative savings would be returned to the provincial school districts, with Surrey receiving $3.1 million.
“While we can’t depend on surpluses every year in order to balance our budget, I’m pleased the board is in a position to be able to add staff in support of the students of the Surrey School District,” said Trustee Terry Allen, who is the board’s budget committee chairperson.