School board deficit covered by reserves

Wolf Creek Public School’s newly adjusted budget shows an approximate $2 million deficit.

Wolf Creek Public School’s newly adjusted budget shows an approximate $2 million deficit.

The school division’s revenue within the new budget has increased by more than $1 million and the expenditures increased by $2.5 million.

The huge change in expenditures came with new hires, which came with increased enrollment levels, resulting in an additional $2,500,274 in costs.

However, the projected deficit is fully covered by reserves.

In the facilities department there was a decrease in its deficit and transportation is sitting at a $104,323 surplus, aided by fuel rebates. Without the rebate transportation would also be in a deficit.

Almost $1 million more will be added to the early childhood services revenue due to increased enrolment, putting its total revenue at approximately $3 million.

As of Sept. 30 there were an additional 28 full time equivalent students counted that will bring in $893, 921 on generated based instruction funding, which is approximately $5,000 per student that a school receives in funding. An additional 34 English as a second language students will generate $40, 052.

Federally funded severe needs students increased by 10, resulting in an additional $180,000. Class size funding also increased by approximately $100,000.

Within the division there was a 128-student increase, which is 49 more than in 2011. Rimbey Elementary School had an 11-student increase, however, Ponoka Composite High School decreased by approximately 18 students.

“I would have to say funding is not adequate to the kinds of needs that we have said superintendent Larry Jacobs. He also believes this isn’t just true for Wolf Creek but for school divisions across the province.

“”Even though we’ve managed to handle our budget we don’t have enough to provide everything we need to,” Jacobs added.

In addition to enrolment there are other funding changes within the division. The Alberta Teacher Retirement Fund received a $620, 000 increase and there was a $162, 050 increase in provision for the unemployed funding.

There was also an increase of $2,699,399 in total expenditures. The largest expenditure increases came from board and system administration. Bellamy Payroll Maintenance fees are $153,504 and SRB training costs are $140,625.

There is also a decrease in overall operating reserves and a decrease of $340,583 in capital reserves, after purchasing 14 buses.

Wolf Creek‘s reserve balance increased by $550,125, resulting in a $7,390,182 total. This total is calculated before the reserve is used to cover the division’s deficit. “The government will accept that budget as long as we have the money to cover that,” said Jacobs.

At the Nov. 22 school board meeting the trustees accepted this updated budget as information stemming from the preliminary budget, which was approved by the school board May 31.