The draft budget, as presented at the school board meeting:
Additionally, the audience received a copy of a press release that was released earlier today to the media (but not to partner groups), that went into more detail about some of the specific changes.
Some portions of this release:
“The combination of continued enrolment declines and the related decrease in funding from the Ministry of Education, the increase in staff wages due to the requirement to fund [provincially] negotiated wage increases from district resources, and downloaded increased benefits and utility costs presented the board of Education with a budget challenge for 2014-15 of $5,360,000. The school district simply isn’t generating enough funding from the Ministry of Education to meet the rising expenses of our large and complex organization.”
The challenge of finding $5,360,000 is to be met by:
- identifying other revenues not previously recognized in the annual budget ($157,000)
- Aligning budgeted expenditures with actual experience of the prior year ($1,354,000)
- Requiring all schools and all departments to reduce their budget by 0.5% ($597,000)
- Using $1,639,000 from unexpended school operating budgets [savings schools had put aside for future expenses]
- Using $1,613,000 from surplus appropriated to future budgets
It was further noted that “using that magnitude of surplus in a single year is a significant concern as the use of surplus is not a sustainable budget practice”.