CQSB approves 2010-11 budget

The Central Quebec School Board gave formal approval to its 2010-11 operating budget Friday evening. There were no members of the public present for the vote, which was unanimous in favor.

The budget calls for $46 million in operating expenses and another $3.6 million for capital improvements and other expenditures.

CQSB Director of Financial Services Daniel Arsenault told the board that 67 percent of the total budget will be devoted to educational expenditures.

CQSB President Stephen Burke said Friday night that with enrollment down by 80 students, funding from the provincial Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports will decline by $587,000.

Line Beauchamp recently replaced Michelle Courchesne as education minister in Premier Jean Charest's latest cabinet shakeup.

School board Director General Ron Corriveau told the board that, while enrollment is expected to stay flat, it may increase slightly the next few years.

The school tax rate will remain at 35 cents per $100 assessed value, the maximum which cannot be exceeded other than through a referendum. Such referendums are rare.

Of the $46,213,000 operating budget, salaries will account for 75.6 percent; travel, 1.2 percent; supplies, 4.7 percent, and other expenditures, 18.5 percent.

The budget was initially scheduled to be adopted in June, but board officials discovered that official notice published in advance of the June meeting fell one day short of the 15-day requirement. At the time, CQSB Chairman Stephen Burke said the board wanted to err on the safe side before voting.

Additionally, Burke said the board wanted a vote at a meeting where more members were present. A quorum attended the June meeting, but Burke said the budget was too important to allow a vote by the required minimum number of members.

Meanwhile, the board discussed briefly 2009 test scores. CQSB placed 23rd overall in the province, but first among English school boards.

"You know that we've been up there for many years," Corriveau said, "so we're doing something well."

Still, the Director General said, the CQSB is still trying to improve on the district's performance.

More info on the BSR. Responding to strong opposition from QESBA and other education network partners, the new Minister announced last Friday that there will be a postponement to the implementation of the Basic School Regulation (BSR) until July 2011 to offer more training time for teachers. To QESBA's disappointment, only minor changes to the content have been made, however. The changes will result in a single "bulletin nationale" and a substantial downgrading in the importance accorded to competencies. A clear timetable of deadlines and priorities has now been published on the MELS website.

CQSB Budget -
$46,213 ,000
Salaries - 75,6%
Travel - 1,2%
Supplies - 4,7%
Others - 18,5%

Tax rate - 0,35$ per 100

This is a maximum which can not be exceeded other than through a referendum. Needless to say, such referendums are more than rare.

You might want to go to the following website to view actual presentation PDF-