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While discussions regarding the Surrey Schools 2021-22 preliminary budget are ongoing, the district is projecting a shortfall of approximately $43M for the upcoming school year.
The anticipated shortfall is directly related to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a drastic reduction in immigration and resulting decrease in the number of new students enrolling in our schools. We have also a seen a significant drop in revenue from facility rentals and international student enrolment, as well as increased costs stemming from blended (online/in-person) learning programs.
Superintendent Jordan Tinney is scheduled to share a presentation about the implications of the pandemic on the budget with the Surrey Board of Education at the April 14 public board meeting.
"As always, we are committed to ensuring our students continue to have access to quality education and programs," said Trustee Terry Allen, who chairs the district budget committee. "We will make every effort to keep any cuts as far away from the classroom as possible."
Last fall, the district implemented enhanced safety protocols that included hiring more than 130 caretakers for our schools. We were able to balance the current year's budget thanks to one-time pandemic-response funding from both the federal and provincial governments.
We were grateful to receive this funding, but we are operating under the assumption that these funds will not be available to our district in the coming school year.
In the coming weeks, the board and district staff will discuss strategies to mitigate the anticipated budget shortfall. The goal is to finalize plans share a final budget publicly on May 12.