School District 51 trustees were able to come up with a budget for 2015-16 after consulting with staff from all district schools. Board chair Teresa Rezansoff said that the process to reach the budget went very well.
The budget for next year was approved at the regular board meeting on June 9 at the board office in Grand Forks.
“It comes into effect on July 1,” said Rezansoff. “It was a great budget process this year. We did something a bit different. We always do consultations, that’s par for the course. These year we went out with three targeted questions.”
Rezansoff said the board linked the budget process to the board’s goals with their achievement contact and educational directions.
“We are linking the learning needs of the students to the direction we take in the school district and how the decisions we make in the budget supports all of that—so there’s clear alignment,” she said. “It’s critical that when we make our budget decisions if we see there’s a need for extra teachers, extra education assistants, professional development or whatever it is—it’s driven by the needs of our students.”
Rezansoff said the board has consulted with staff from every school and also had public consultation meetings at both ends of the district.
“We asked those same questions at every meeting and we used all of that to steer the direction and make decisions on the budget process,” she said. “We were really pleased with it.”
Rezansoff said the board feels positive about all the decisions they had to make.
“We were really able to provide full support for all our schools,” she said. “We’re doing a lot of hiring this year. We have a big number of retirements. There will be a lot of new faces at our schools next year.”
Rezansoff said the board had to take money from their contingency fund ($708,130) to balance the budget but emphasizes that there is enough money in that fund to cover it. The contingency fund is money that has been carried forward from previous budgets (budgeted prior year surplus appropriation).
2016 Annual Budget recap
Revenue and Expense
Total ministry operating grant funded FTE (full-time equivalents) – $1,231,500 (2015 amended annual budget amount was $1,247,250)
Revenues (first two)
Provincial grants – Ministry of Education $15,961,325 (2015 – $15,600,807)
Amortization of deferred capital revenue $751,128 (2015 –$760,833)
Total Revenue – $17,171,679 (2015 – $16,819,818)
Expenses (first two)
Instruction $13,042,412 (2015 – $12,455,570)
Operations and maintenance $3,684,032 (2015 –$3,618,508)
Total Expenses $18,190,268 (2015 – $17,585,946)
Net Revenue (expense) ($1,018,459) 2015- ($766,128)
Budgeted Surplus (Deficit) ($310,459) 2015- ($245,606)