Home Education Westshore - SD62 SD62 staff can dip into $25K cost of living fund

SD62 staff can dip into $25K cost of living fund

Using 'extra' funds from larger-than-expected enrollment growth.

sd62, board, nov 2022
School District 62 board meeting held at the SD62 administrative office, Nov 29, 2022. [livestream]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated December 2, 2022]

SOOKE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS | by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

UPDATE January 4, 2023: 375 gift cards of $75 each were issued to staff

A $25,000 fund for all SD62 staff (including teachers & CUPE 459) to receive cost-of-living supports was approved tonight by the Sooke School District (SD62) board at their November 29, 2022 public board meeting.

This comes in times of rising if not continuing inflation and the looming Christmas holiday season.

The program is to “mirror” the BC government’s Sept 2022 Student and Family Affordability Fund which is aimed at food security for students through school programs. [Link to the SD62 delivery upon the Student and Family Affordability Fund]

Rolling out the funds:

dti computers, ad

In comments made by Board Chair Ravi Parmar last night, the financial support sounds like it will come mostly in the form of grocery store gift cards. He specifically mentioned CUPE and teachers, but the fund will be open to all school district staff (as clarified by SD62 administration).

The Thriftys grocery store (there’s one locally in Langford, and one in Colwood) got mentioned a few times, which is probably the most expensive of all the grocery stores in the west shore region.

The SD62 official news release (issued the next day) says “the details of the fund will be worked out over the next few weeks” and that the fund will be accessible ahead of the school Winter Break (the winter break starts December 17 and runs to January 2).

No stigma:

SD62 administrative staff are charged with designing a program that will aim for anonymity or “no stigma” as much as possible.

SD62 said in their news release today that the cost of living pressures are due to “global inflation”. Generally those influences are thought to include increased fuel costs and supply chain disruptions due to the war in Ukraine and the COVID-zero lockdowns in China.

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Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School opened in Langford on November 14, 2022. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Enrollment growth:

The money is being gleaned from ‘surplus’ from more new students coming to SD62 than expected, said Parmar.

The provincial government did distribute funds to each school district to use as they see fit.

As of the September 30 enrollment tally cut-off date, there were 12,249 FTE students in the SD62 school district that is responsible to deliver public education to families in Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Highlands, Sooke and Juan de Fuca.

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mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends is a professional news portal at islandsocialtrends.ca . Fully online since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the extensive groundwork of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).

Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC provincial news, and national news impacts.

Ms Brooke has been covering news of School District 62 (SD62) at the board and committee level — attending nearly all of their full meetings since 2014. She was an SD62 trustee candidate (Belmont Zone) in the October 2022 election.


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