The Campbell River School Board could be facing funding implications after its projected student enrolment for this year was off by about 100 students.

Fewer than expected students likely means less money for Campbell River School District

Final budget could be affected by $397,000 reduction

The Campbell River School District is facing funding implications after it received fewer students than projected this year.

The school district received just under 100 students fewer than they were expecting. The anticipated cost of the missed forecast is an estimated reduction of $397,000 to the annual budget.

Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Patrick laid out the situation for school board trustees during a recent meeting.

“When we come in less than expected, as we have this year, we’re getting less money,” he said.

In analyzing other districts’ enrolment numbers, he said Campbell River is unique.

“I’ve only noticed one other district that hasn’t had big growth this year,” he said. “Districts south of us, smaller districts, districts this size, everybody seems to have had that growth.”

School District 72 uses a demographic projection tool to come up with its predicted enrolment numbers for the upcoming school year. Patrick explains that it’s a software that uses data from the federal government, as well as enrolment history over a few years. District experience also comes into play.

“It’ll look at things like trends, are we growing or are we shrinking? It looks at how many students are graduating and leaving the system and how many kids are coming in at the kindergarten level as to whether there will be more coming in at kindergarten and less leaving Grade 12 or the reverse,” he said. “They can use that to give us a pretty good idea of what we can expect for the next school year.”

The predicted student enrolment for this academic year was 5,575. As of Sept. 30, the district’s annual enrolment was 5,479.

While this is an increase in the actual number of students in the district from last year, it is 96 students less than the projection. That’s important because the school district builds its annual budget based partly off those numbers and now it could potentially get a lot less money from the B.C. Ministry of Education than it was expecting.

The school district was able to save money from not needing to fund or staff a reserve position it had on the books, but no longer needs to fill.

It’s still not clear where the prediction went wrong.

“What we know is not as many students moved into the district as we expected, so there weren’t any changes within the economy of Campbell River where we would have expected anything different than what we experienced years before,” said Patrick.

Both the hospital and the dam projects have been complete for a number of years.

“We thought the impact of that would have been spread over a number of years and that we were will receiving more students overall than the loss of students moving out of town,” said Patrick.

“I still can’t put a finger on any single reason – the dam construction ending, the hospital – I haven’t been able to figure that out,” said Patrick, “but it can happen, it does happen and obviously it’s happened for us this year and I still am looking toward next year.”

The software they use for the prediction will take into account this year’s anomaly.

“The nice thing with using averages is it will continually adjust and if it was out one year because of an anomaly, then it will account for that and become closer in the future,” said Patrick.

The grants the district receives from the ministry are complex and could change depending on a number of factors. So the final picture won’t be clear until the district receives that grant package.

“At that time we’ll know if we’re seeing a significant reduction as a school district, or if it’s less of an impact,” said Patrick. “We have to wait and see what that is. We’ll know what the bottom line impact is in February.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Witnesses assist Campbell River woman in danger

The Campbell River RCMP were called to a report of violence in… Continue reading

Reports of accused human trafficker sighted in Campbell River unsubstantiated

RCMP issue warning about the fears unproven social media reports can generate

City of Campbell River rolls out three year strategic plan

Plan is made up of six ‘pillars’ for how council will make decisions

City of Campbell River highlights benefits of fitness programs for ‘older adults’

New video features participants telling their own stories of how classes improved their lives

Search for missing Cortes Island man approaches two-week mark

RCMP remind Cortes Islanders to check properties and outbuilding for signs of unusual activity

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Most Read