2014-03-31 DPAC General Meeting Minutes
D.P.A.C. MEETING NOTES
Schou Education Centre
4041 Canada Way
DATE: January 27, 2014
TIME: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Alpha, Confederation Park, Kitchener, Burnaby North, Capitol Hill, Lochdale, Montecito, Sperling, Burnaby Mountain, Cameron, Lyndhurst, Seaforth, Stoney Creek, University Highlands, Twelfth Avenue, Burnaby Central, Gilpin, Lakeview, Moscrop, Cascade Heights, Burnaby South, Glenwood, Maywood, Byrne Creek, Taylor Park
Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools; Gina Niccoli-Moen, Deputy Superintendent; Heather Hart, Assistant Superintendent; Roy Uyeno, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
Board of Education Trustees and their zones:
Baljinder Narang, (Kingsway South), Larry Hayes (Cariboo Lougheed), Harman Pandher (Central West), Gary Wong (Brentwood North)
Jen Mezei, Past and Vice Chair (Cariboo Lougheed); Romy Bacchioni, Member at Large (Kingsway South); Dave Dye, Member at Large (Cariboo Lougheed); Herman Louie, Member at Large (Central West); Kristin Schnider, Secretary (Cariboo Lougheed); Jocelyn Schonekess, Treasurer (Brentwood North)
Regrets: Katherine Robertson, Chair (Central West); Gjoa Andrichuk, Secretary (Central West)
1. Welcome and Introductions
The Vice Chair called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm and introduced the District Staff, Trustees and DPAC Executive members present.
2. Budget Presentation – Roy Uyeno, Secretary-Treasurer
Roy Uyeno provided the DPAC reps with a presentation on the preliminary 2014-2015 operating budget. Included in that presentation was a breakdown for the budget timeline:
- February 18 Provincial Budget announcement (which confirmed that there wouldn’t be any new education funding available through the Provincial Budget)
- March 5 The School District began conducting meetings with its partner groups (BTA, CUPE, DSAC, DPAC)
- March 14 Ministry of Education announcement of preliminary operating grant for 2014-2015 school year
- April 7 Additional partner group meetings
- April 9 Public budget meeting at the School District Office at 7 PM, which parents are welcome to attend
- April 16 Partner group meeting to seek input on budget priorities
- April 22 Board of Education approval for 2014-2015 operating budget
- April 30 District to submit approved budget to the Ministry of Education
Roy Uyeno then addressed the guiding principles on which the proposed budget is based, which include:
- Education programs offered to Burnaby students should be focused on including student achievement and facilitating student success;
- Program enhancement, program development, and student choice will be guided by the Board’s ability to provide sustainable funding;
- Operational systems and business services required to support students and schools will be maintained in an effective and efficient manner;
- Available funding will be directed to supporting the objectives outlined in the Board’s strategic plan (to be released shortly) and with the District achievement contract; and
- All budget allocation decisions will be based on relevant data and information.
The budget process is open and inclusive insofar as the District encourages partner group participation, communicates to the public on the District’s website and hosts public budget meetings.
Every year as part of process there are detailed reviews of specific areas within budget and some of the delivery models. For example the District may look at non-enrolling teachers or special education, distribution learning, administration)
The District develops key assumptions and projections to support a 3 year rolling budget, which provides more stability. Some of the key assumptions include:
- A projected student enrolment for 2014-2015
- Maintaining the current service levels and programs
- The student base funding of $6900 per student will remain the same
- Increased Provincial LIF funding: It’s anticipated that Provincial LIF funding will increase $15M next year for a total of $75 million provincially. Locally, Burnaby received $2.4M in LIF funding this year. So the budget anticipates approximately $3M for 2014-2015.
Roy Uyeno acknowledged that LIF funding is included in the operating budget, but it is part of the special purpose fund. Additional revenues in this area ease pressures in the operating budget to assist vulnerable students.
He then went on to explain holdback funding. Every year the Ministry of Education holds back revenue in anticipation of enrolment changes after the preliminary funding is announced. Last year the Government
held back $59M provincially. In Burnaby that translated into $1.4M that we receive after Sept. 30 when enrolment count. That said, if provincial enrolment grows, the Ministry may have to release additional funds to cover the increases.
Other budget assumptions include:
- Liabilities for teacher salary incremental increases, which are anticipated at $750K for 2014-2015
- Liability for maternity leave estimated at $260K (including top-up), which is significantly higher than in previous years
- Projected enrolment increase for special education 2 classifications, which will require an additional 6 FTE education assistants, equating to $230K for 2014-2015
- Liabilities for other cost increases (inflationary) – employee benefits including CPP, EI, MPP, WCB, MPS, EHB, dental, EAP. Benefits not anticipating an inflationary increase are life insurance, TPP.
- The cost associated with the Cooperative Gains Mandate Savings Plan to offset the CUPE wages gain. For the 2014-2015 budget the cost will be $1.6M, which is an annualized cost of $620K CUPE wage lift
- Projected utilities increase for water/sewer, election and gas
- Projected $2.3M operating surplus to carry forward in the 2014-2015 budget
Not included in the budget is the potential cost of Provincial Network (PLNet) upgrade. The cost of this upgrade will be in the millions of dollars. At this point, the Province hasn’t communicated whether or not it will download the costs to the Districts.
Other costs not included are the implementation of the new MyEducation BC student information system, the potential costs of a new teachers’ contract, or the implementation of the Griffin decision on Bill 22.
Roy Uyeno then spoke about the projected District enrollment for 2014-2015. He noted that District is anticipating an increase of 103 FTE elementary students and continued growth over the following two years.
In terms of secondary students, the District is anticipating declining enrolment next year, which will continue of the new two years. Distributed Learning (online learners at the District) will see some growth.
The total school age enrollment is expected to grow a little, but growth will be fairly flat over next few years. Included within that international student numbers continue to grow.
The operating grant the District receives is based on these enrolment numbers, wherein every FTE student received $6900, every district learner received $581 and every FTE adult education student received $4430. Supplemental funding is also provided for vulnerable students.
As a result of our current enrolment projections, the Burnaby District will not be eligible for the Province’s Enrolment Decline and Funding Protection as the District would need to have a decline of 1% or more.
Roy went on to further explain that compared with the provincial per student funding, the Burnaby School District per student funding is the lowest in the province: the provincial average is $8750 per student, whereas the Burnaby funding per student is $7843. Moreover, 18 of the provinces smallest district receive a combined receive $12,258 per student (which—when combined—have an equivalent population to Burnaby schools).
Superintendent Kaardal added that funding received is based on a formula that can’t necessarily meet the needs of all districts because they are all unique.
Given the projected enrolment numbers, Roy Uyeno asserted that the School District is anticipating a 2014-
2015 operating grant of $192M from the Ministry of Education. This amount does not include any potential holdback funding. (For the 2013-2014 school year, $1.4M was received in holdback)
Other funding grants that the District is anticipating are pay equity, education guarantee funding for adults, one-time grants, which are estimated to be on par with what was received in the current education year. –
One grant in particular that the District is anticipating is the ELSA grant. This year $1.6 M was received and Burnaby has just negotiated a new contract with the Federal Government to continue this program; however, this grant funds are not reflected in the operating budget as they are restricted funds found in another budget. The 2014-2015 value is just over $2M.
Roy Uyeno then moved on to provide an explanation for the District’s expenditures within the operating budget:
72.8% of the budget is spent on salaries
17.3% of the budget is spent on employee benefits
9.9% of the budget is spent on services and supplies
The average provincial breakdown for expenditures differs slightly in the less is spent on salaries and more is spent on services and supplies:
70.8% of the budget is spent on salaries
17.9% of the budget is spent on employee benefits
11.3% of the budget is spent on services and supplies
A further breakdown of salaries was then provided. Of the 72.8% spent on salaries:
87% is spent on instruction;
10.2% is spent on operations and maintenance;
2.4% is spent on District administration; and
0.4% is spent on transportation.
In summary, the 2014-2015 budget is a “status quo operating budget,” which has a $6.9M shortfall in 2014-2015 to be offset by the $2.3M fund balance at the start of the school year. The 2014-2015 shortfall is up from the shortfall anticipated in the current fiscal year, projected at $5.7M.
And the total three year budget shows a continued shortfall in the following two year: in the 2015-2016 school year the shortfall equates to $8.1M and in the shortfall in the 2016-2017 school year is anticipated to be $9.1M.
Superintendent Kaardal added that each department and program within the District is also looking to find additional savings within their budgets to mitigate the operating budget shortfall. However, any savings found are not to sacrifice the quality of existing programs currently offered.
A parent asked if there was a consistent pattern with regard to the provincial holdback funding. Are they are trends that can assist with anticipatory budgeting? Superintendent Kaardal answer the amounts received are not consistent. At this point the School District does not know the Ministry’s plans for the holdback funding.
Superintendent Kaardal went on to explain that the District is working with its partner groups to identify and prioritize a list of potential cuts. Five would be the worst case scenario, which may include a reduction of services. However, the District aims to meet the shortfall by making small reductions in several areas versus the complete elimination of a service/program.
Another parent asked about international students and how they can assist the District’s operating budget shortfall. Superintendent Kaardal answer that currently international students generate $13.8M in revenue; however, there are limits to these markets. He added that the District also wants to ensure that we continue to have one of the best provincial programs for international students. Our current base of international students is already contributing to the operating budget. Without this revenue the funding shortfall would be much higher. Nonetheless, additional international students would not likely solve the funding shortfall.
3. Superintendent’s Report – Updates
Superintendent Kaardal addressed the current negotiations situation between the BCTF and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) who bargain on behalf of the 60 School Districts in the province. He advised that the Union conducted a strike action vote with its members, which received support. The vote was specific to Phase 1 job action, but it did not include an itemized list of actions included under this phase. To date, no strike notice has been issued, but the vote mandate last for the duration of the current school year. Kevin added that if any notice is issued, parents and stakeholders will be advised as soon as possible.
Superintendent Kaardal acknowledged that there are some differences in terms of response in this round of bargaining: Phase One job action will likely include things we have seen in previous rounds such as non-attendance at meetings (with the likely exclusion of safety meetings) and withdrawal from lunch and recess supervision. That would mean that administrators would need to seek permission to perform the duty of lunch supervision as exempt from struck work.
Again on the latter issue, the Chief negotiator for the BCPSEA has put out a letter indicating if any job action actualizes it will be different than instances in the education sector. Specifically this references the fact that the employer did not apply for an essential services mandate. The sector is still regarded as essential service and would therefore be governed by past rulings of the Labour Board if job action results. For example, in previous situations where essential service sectors have experienced job action for a period two-weeks, the Labour Board has not been viewed it as a complete disruption that would cause harm. By not applying for essential services the Government aims to put pressure on the Teachers’ Union.
The Provincial Government has also said that they would apply to the Labour Board to have the employer stop paying teachers’ benefits during any work stoppage and forward the costs to the Teachers’ Union with the aim to put additional pressure on the BCTF and bring the negotiations to a head more quickly.
There is still the hope for a successful (long term) agreement between the parties. Additional negotiations have been scheduled for April 1-3 and the District will provide parents with updates and appropriate.
A parent asked if there is job action what happens to the lost instruction time. Does it need to be made up? Superintendent Kaardal answered that students would not be required to make up any lost time. As it would be struck work, typically teachers do not need to make up the time lost. He then noted that if there was a prolonged work stoppage they district would make other arrangements for students. However, a long strike is not likely.
Another parent asked what happens if a work stoppage occurs during the international exam schedule. Superintendent Kaardal answered that administrators would have to facilitate the exam for students. To do so, they would have to seek permission first.
A parent then asked when the Griffin decision will likely be implemented. Superintendent Kaardal answered the decision is currently under appeal. And it’s likely that the decision will continue to be appealed by the parties up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Therefore, it will be a very long process. It’s possible that the parties will both accept the decision of the current appellant court, which may mean that the District will have to relook at the budget. In the interim the parties are also trying to reach a negotiated settlement on the issue given the potential costing tied to the decision.
4. Common Metro Calendar & Survey Results – Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Schools
Superintendent Kaardal presented the DPAC reps with the same report that he gave the Board earlier this month. He advised the calendar is in draft form as it needs the Ministry’s approval. Kevin added the proposed calendar is also subject to a review of the recent two week spring break.
Superintendent Kaardal then reviewed the process to date for the common metro calendar, beginning in early 2013.
He reminded parents that in February 2014 the District proposed a 3 year calendar and conducted a survey from February 13 to March 6 to seek input from parents, students, District employees and other community members. Based on the results of the survey along with other input received from partner groups, the District made a recommendation to the Board of Education on March 11. Prior to March 31 the District was legally required to submit their calendar to the Ministry of Education. However, the District is still committed to conducting a calendar review in April as previously communicated.
Superintendent Kaardal then provided the rationale for the calendar that was submitted to the Ministry. In particular, he noted that:
- the two week spring break accumulates a budget savings of $250K to assist with the funding shortfall;
- moving to a three-year calendar also aligns with the District’s budget cycle;
- common Metro District calendars is advantageous in terms of staff recruitment and retention; and
- a three year calendar provide stability for working and planning with the District partners to provide services for families (e.g. City of Burnaby, childcare providers, etc.)
Superintendent Kaardal then spoke on the consultation process conducted with all stakeholders, including DPAC, DSAC, BTA, and CUPE. The general feedback received confirmed that all partner groups were open to the Board adopting a three year common Metro District calendar. However, some concerns were expressed through that feedback, which can be summarized into three categories:
- additional pressures on families to find childcare
- increased cost to families to fund childcare and/or community programs
- potential loss of learning
Both the BTA and CUPE also expressed concerns that there is reduced work for TTOCs and causal CUPE employees under the two week spring break as there are not being engaged to cover staff absences before and after a one week spring break.
The impact of the two-week spring break has also been assessed in other Districts and the research shows that there was no discernible loss in student learning or achievement. The Districts also noticed improved wellness of both students and District employees as determined by better attendance around spring break. Superintendent Kaardal then reiterated that it was recognized that the two-week break created a hardship on some families in these Districts to find childcare.
In terms of the responses received for this year versus the 2013 survey, fewer responses received this year. Overall 2,724 responses received in 2014, which included 2,050 responses from parents, students and community members and 674 responses from district staff members (based on voluntary identification from respondents). Over half of the respondents were elementary school parents, but geographically the responses were balanced across the community.
The result showed that:
64.5% of respondents were in favour of a two-week spring break
30.9% of respondents were in favour of a one-week spring break
4.6% of respondents had no preference
61.7% of respondents were in support of a common metro calendar
27.3% of respondents do not support a common metro calendar
11.1% of respondents did not indicate a preference
Therefore, the District made a recommendation to the Board of Education to adopt a three-year common metro calendar for the years 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, which include two-week spring breaks.
A parent asked if the district had been able to isolate the responses from elementary school parents to see if their answers were in line with the overall results. Superintendent Kaardal answered that this year’s survey didn’t allow for the District to isolate the responses of specific groups. However, the overall approval rates were higher with this survey and based on the percentages it appears the responses from elementary parents were in fact consistent with the supporting a two week spring break going forward.
5. Committee Reports / Questions & Answers
Committee reports attached to these minutes.
The Vice Chair asked if SPC reps were receiving the notice and motions for District policy. Some DPAC reps who are also SPC members advised that they hadn’t received them. Jen committed to follow up with Policy Committee on this issue. Kevin added that they will look into the matter and resolve.
The Vice Chair then raised another question regarding the PLNet and privacy concerns. She noted that there had been a couple articles in Victoria on this issue. Superintendent Kaardal answered that this privacy requirements were met within the RFP and that didn’t believe there was an issue. He added that one issue the District was aware of was between two competing products. Of those two products, Open School does not meet the RFP and is no longer running. The only product the meets the privacy requirement is the one the District has elected to use: MyEducation BC.
Jen followed up her question by asking if the education record was tied to the student provincial health record. Kevin answered that he would look into it and report back.
DPAC Executive member Dave Dye offered the data centres are located in Kamloops and therefore do not contravene the Canadian-based requirement in terms of data storage. Jen thanked Dave for his input, but added that her concern was related to how the files are linked and where parents can access information, etc. It was then agreed to address this issue at the next DPAC Executive meeting.
6. New Business / Show and Tell
A DPAC rep advised that her school PAC had been successful in recovering bank fees from their TD Bank. TD Bank contacted PACs by letter advising that they had misapplied fees for their accounts, which existed prior to 2004. In the letter they required PACs to contact the bank to make appropriate arrangements for the fee recovery. The DPAC rep added that her school had been able to recover $1500 from the Bank.
Alpha Secondary is hosting a spring swap meet on April 12. Table space is available at $20 each. Further details are posted Craigslist or people can email the PAC. Parking may be difficult during the swap meet as Chinese school will be in session at Alpha at the same time.
Confederation Park Elementary is putting on The Jungle Book at Michael J. Fox Theatre on April 17 at 1 PM and 7 PM. Tickets for the play are available through the school office at $5 each.
BCCPA Spring Conference & AGM
BCCPAC Spring Conference will be held Thursday evening, May 29th to Sunday June 1st at the Radisson Hotel in Richmond. Thursday evening Keynote Speaker will be Steve Cairns. The Friday schedule includes an hour with the Minister of Education. BCCPAC AGM (Annual General Meeting) will be held on the Saturday and will carry over to Sunday morning if necessary.
The full conference agenda is posted on the BCCPAC website at http://conference.bccpac.bc.ca/ along with the online registration form. Registration is now open. Schools wishing to send a representative to the conference may be eligible for 50% subsidy for conference registration fees from Burnaby DPAC, at one parent per school.
DPAC will review the resolutions put forward at the next DPAC general meeting as it is scheduled just before the conference.
Jen reminded DPAC reps to have their school PACs submit their proxy forms if they will not be attending the conference.
7. Next Meeting – Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7 PM
8. Meeting Adjournment
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:45 PM and thanked everyone for attending.
NOTES FROM THE CHAIR:
- Connect! – www.burnabydpac.com – email your events to be published.
- Communicate! – Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow us on Facebook (Burnaby District Parent Advisory Council) and Twitter (Burnaby DPAC)
- Please bing your coffee mug or water cup
YOUTH & COMMUNITY SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORT
Mar. 3, 2014 Meeting
- District meeting with Burnaby Parks & Rec on February 19/14
- Glenwood Elementary and Cascade Heights Elementary received $3000 playground grants from Burnaby Parks & Rec.
- Review of the provincial McCreary Adolescent Health Survey findings. This survey given to approximately 30,000 students aged 12 to 19 last fall with 56 school districts across BC participating. Done every 5 years for students and asks a range of questions regarding physical and emotional health. Results specific to Burnaby are thoroughly reviewed by a District committee to ensure all areas of concern are addressed with prevention and intervention programming. Governments, health professionals, community programmers, parks and rec groups also use the data in addition to school districts for planning of services, policies and programs for youth. Areas of concern, provincially, include an increase in mental health issues and a larger percentage of obese youth. The entire report can accessed online at http://www.mcs.bc.ca/ under the heading “Latest Reports.”
- Breakfast for Learning meeting recently attended by District Trustee Larry Hayes. This charity is one of the largest focused on child nutrition, supporting all of Canada, and partnered with Loblaws (Real Canadian Superstore in the West) to support and sustain breakfast, lunch and snack programs in schools. Currently seven Burnaby schools take part in the program: Edmonds, Maywood, Stride, Clinton, Armstrong, Burnaby North Secondary and Byrne Creek Secondary.
- Tourism Burnaby Executive Director Matthew Coyne has resigned and has joined up with the Take a Risk Foundation for Youth at risk. Take a Hike currently works with students who have troubles with drug or alcohol addiction, physical and mental abuse, criminal activities, mental challenges such as low self-esteem, disorders, depression, trauma etc. at John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver. There is also an adventure-based learning program that included Wilderness First-Aid, hiking camping, snow-shoeing, rock-climbing, kayaking etc. with therapy and education. This program works in partnership with school boards and Matthew is hoping to expand in Burnaby.