SURREY — The Surrey school board hopes to hire 160 new employees next September to help with the nearly 800 new children expected to enroll.
If all those students arrive, the district will have 71,115 students.
To help, the Board of Education plans to hire 70 new teachers and 81 new education assistants.
Two school administrators, four professional staff and four support staff are also to be hired, bringing a total of 161 additional staff to the district.
While the board faced a $6.7 million deficit to duplicate existing programs and service levels for next year, a surplus of $6.3 million this year from unspent funds for snow clearing, unfilled positions and utility costs, as well as district revenues, will cover most of the deficit.
“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 Surrey Board of Education budget committee chairperson Terry Allen.
Operating funds, along with special purpose and other funds, amount to $723 million in the school board’s preliminary budget.
Despite ongoing enrollment increases, the board hopes to continue to have the lowest proportion of its operating budget spent on administration in the province at just 2.11 per cent.
The budget will be finalized after the enrollment count is complete at the end of September.