Cancellation of summer school comes with costs

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The cancellation of summer school due to the teachers' strike could end up being a hit to Burnaby school district's bottom line.

Summer school programs usually bring in about $2.1 million in revenues, said district secretary-treasurer Greg Frank. But the direct costs of putting on the programs total about $2 million.

"We're still trying to determine whether or not we're able to avoid all of those costs or whether or not some of those costs may continue," Frank said.

The majority of the expenses would be paying for teacher staffing, which is no longer an issue. But there may be different levels of salaries for planning the programs and supplies already purchased for them that would still be on the books.

The true financial impact isn't known yet. "It may be a few weeks yet before we really have got a clear handle on that picture," he said.

"The good news for the district is the summer school is not a large net contributor  to our bottom line. So loss of the revenues—as long as we can avoid the majority of the costs—the impact on the bottom line should not be too significant."

But the loss of that revenue will just add to the continuing financial challenges faced by the district, just like others around the province.

In the spring, the district made cuts to offset a $3.1-million budget shortfall for the  for next school year. Frank said in an interview at the time that Burnaby is expecting a $4.2-million shortfall in 2015-2016 and $1.6-million in 2016-2017 while the government has so far said its operating grants to schools will stay the same.

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