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Surrey School District facing $10-million deficit

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To keep things just the way they are in Surrey schools – not add new services or programs or resources – the district will have to cut $10-million from the next budget.

The Surrey Board of Education is currently seeking input on what its priorities should be in the coming (2011-2012) school year as it attempts to balance the books.

Surrey's total operational budget is about $576 million. It's illegal to submit a deficit budget to the provincial government.

This time last year, the board was having to figure out how to pare $12 million from the school budget. In the end, it was done by shifting specialist teachers such as counsellors and librarians to classroom duties, not replacing specialist teachers when absent three days or less, slashing supply and resource budgets and extending spring break to two weeks, thereby cutting the number of school days in the year.

The board will be meeting with teachers, parents and other stakeholder groups in the next few weeks to discuss the financial situation this year and gather feedback and ideas.

Community members are welcome to make submissions by writing to: Mr. Wayne Noye, Secretary-Treasurer, 14225 56 Ave., Surrey, B.C. V3X 3A3; faxing: 604-596-4197; phoning 605-596-7733; or emailing budget@sd36.bc.ca.

Written submissions should be received no later than 4 p.m. on Feb. 25. Additional information and background, including various district and financial reports, are available at www.sd36.bc.ca/general.

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