The School District No. 46 (SD46) board passed its amended 2012/13 annual budget at their Feb. 12 regular meeting, which showed a nearly $3-million difference from the draft budget produced last year.
In May of 2012 the school board passed a draft budget of $38.7 million, while the amended budget passed earlier this month amounted to $41.6 million.
“Every year the school district passes two budgets, one in late spring, based on estimates, and another the following February, once student enrolment and funding have been confirmed,” said Nicholas Weswick, secretary treasurer for SD46. “Although there have been minor changes in the budget based on revised student enrolment in the district, the majority of the difference between the two budgets is made up of surplus funds from the previous school year.”
Weswick said it’s not unusual to end the year with a surplus.
“Because we’re not legally able to run a deficit, it’s likely that we’ll have an amount in surplus every year, but it’s difficult to project what that surplus might be. As a result, we build our draft budget purely on expected operating revenue for that subsequent year,” he said. “This year the majority of the non-targeted surplus money was allocated to schools to pay for additional supports for students such as more teachers and support staff.
“Remaining funds were used to upgrade technology, special education, curriculum resources, health and safety training, and school facilities. Other targeted surpluses include unspent professional development funds and school-level surpluses.”
Additionally, a mid-year allocation of Ministry of Education holdback funds was used to cover things like insurance premium increases, school maintenance and student transportation costs. The end result of the surplus minus the added expenses leaves SD46 with a balanced budget, Weswick said.
SD46 is now working on the 2013/14 draft budget, meeting with stakeholder groups and talking with board trustees to develop it.
Weswick expects to have something ready to present to the public in late April or early May; however, he notes the public is welcome to attend the next committee of the whole meeting at the school board office where the issue will be discussed.
See a full list of school board meeting dates and times at: www.sd46.bc.ca/index.php/board-meetings