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Budget Challenges and Suggestions to Manage

Greg Varner

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Budget Challenges and Suggestions to Manage

Schools that are reopening have provided some insights to rising costs. Fixed budgets are now stressed due to the many changes schools must implement such as Room to Zoom implementation, social distancing and health and hygiene requirements.

Lessons learned from these schools include the following key cost challenges and suggestions on how to mitigate rising costs: 

Increasing costs:

  • implementation of Room to Zoom requires more planning as restrictions on number of students in a class means more teachers are needed (often part-time teachers’ hours are increased)
  • cleaning is done more frequently
  • investments mandated by government such as thermal cameras and thermometers
  • different health care plans to cover staff

Suggestions to mitigate costs:

  • teachers focus on either the Room or Zoom
  • teachers which are fit to work but are recommended to stay at home due to age or preexisting conditions do Zoom lessons
  • students or staff support with cleaning or limit movement of the students where possible to reduce exposure from others and therefore the need to clean
  • the government is providing financial assistance for many different situations including cleaning
  • support from the school community where possible – all schools have stated their communities have been embracing “we are all in this together” and have a supportive mentality
  • cancel events only when the government has put restrictions in place so no loss in deposits or funds
  • consider fee increase, but all schools are trying to mitigate this

Further considerations:

  • review the contract between parents and schools regarding refund – one school did not include pandemic for force de majeure
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