Chapter Five: Resources for Education

5.8 The Role of the School District

As noted earlier, school boards in most provinces now have no direct role in raising revenue, so their financial role is limited to setting the budget within the money given to them by the province. While many school trustees feel that this change has drastically diminished their importance, it is still the case, as pointed out earlier, that school boards make many important decisions about budgets and programs.

In recent years, school boards have faced increases in costs that are often greater than their available revenue. Cost increases come from several factors. Salaries, by far the largest single area of expenditure, tend to rise to reflect cost of living and also contain increments as employees gain more experience. Pressures for new or expanded programs are never-ending. Just as in any other service, there are always new things schools could do to try to help children do better. School boards face very difficult problems every year of how to balance finite revenues with the many demands on them. The budget exercise at the end of this chapter explores some of these issues more fully.


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