The Campbell River School District Board of Education was recently told by its auditor that it came in with a slight surplus last fiscal year. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Increased enrolment, grants and school closures lead to Campbell River School District surplus

Auditor again recommends adding money to contingency fund, which has been depleted

The Campbell River School District (SD72) Board of Education received some good news from its accountant at its last public meeting.

Brad Piercy of MNP LLP told the board that he audited last year’s financial statements and found nothing to be concerned about. Not only that, the district is actually showing a small surplus after projecting a deficit.

One of the major changes in terms of expenses between this financial statement and 2016’s, Piercy told the board, was in “accounts payable and accrued liabilities,” line item, which increased by about $1.7 million. Piercy attributes that change to the fact that “this year the teacher summer savings account was on the books where that wasn’t the case in the prior year. That was basically $1.5 million and that had a big effect on the payables.”

That increase was more than offset, however, by the $3.3-million increase the statements show in “cash and cash equivalents” between 2016 and 2017.

One major cause of that increase, Piercy told the board, was the addition of 110 FTE (full-time-equivalent students), “which is a significant increase in revenue by itself. That’s about $1.1 million in extra funding. There was also the special education grant of $630,000 that came in; there was the transportation grant of $320,000; there was an extra learning grant that you got for $275,000, so all of a sudden there’s $2-million of additional funding and grants just like that.”

On the “expenses” side of things, Piercy said, teacher salary increases and the costs associated with educating those additional 110 FTEs took up a large chunk of that additional funding, “but there were also some cost savings in the expenses because, of course, we had those two schools that were closed down for lack of students.”

After all was said and done, the district went from having a $570,979 deficit in 2016 to having a surplus of $631,125 in 2017.

“That’s a surplus of basically one per cent, which is pretty tight,” Piercy said. “It’s a big number compared to what it was last year, but on a percentage basis, it’s still pretty close to zero.”

The audit also found nothing wrong with the accounting being done at the district.

“There are no issues that have come up that we have to report to you,” Piercy said.


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