11/16/2012 05:00 EST | Updated 01/16/2013 05:12 EST

New West. parents seek financial review of school district

Parents of New Westminster Secondary School students say they want the provincial government to review the school district's finances to determine why the school board keeps running unexpected deficits.

The high school's Parent Advisory Council passed a unanimous non-confidence motion at a local school board meeting after the board announced it was facing a $2.8-million shortfall.

PAC chair Mary Ann McKenzie said this is the third deficit in 11 years.

"This is the third time we've heard the exact same explanations. There is obviously a deep systematic problem at the root of this that hasn't been dug out," said McKenzie.

New Westminster Board of Education chair James Janzen said he understands the PAC's concerns and they have hired a consultant to find out what went wrong.

"You know I do understand people's frustration... but it is our responsiblity as a board to correct the mistakes that we made and we will," said Janzen.

McKenzie said the PAC wants the provincial government to step in and review the board's finances.

"We don't have the confidence that the new consultant and the new procedures are going to have any different results than the past consultants and procedures."

B.C.'s Education Minister Don McRae said he was confident that the consultant would help the board develop a sound plan to address the situation.

“Earlier this month the school district did retain the services of financial consultant Joan Axford to assist with a review of its operating budget and development of its deficit recovery strategy," said McRae.

Earlier this month parents from New Westminster Secondary School complained that the school is infested with rats.