School board dipping into reserves

With increased instructional costs and no funding from the province to cover it, School District 72 found themselves with just over $774,000 in debt at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

To balance next years budget, $881,000 will need to be taken from the reserve, said Brad Piercy of MNP.

Drawing from the reserve makes Kevin Patrick, secretary treasurer of the School Board, a little bit nervous, but he is comforted by the fact that the money is being put back into the classroom.

“Overall, yes we are in a larger deficit, but some of the goals of the board in the past to have spent closer to the budget, we are getting closer to that,” Patrick said. “As well, the board has in the past spoken about the use of the unrestricted reserve.”

The deficit comes from an increase in instructional costs of $3.6 million from 2015 with only a $1 million increase from the ministry of education. There was revenue coming in from tuition as well as other grants that helped cover the cost, but the district was still short.  Despite the deficit, Piercy said the financial report was clean and the audit showed no issues with processes or the financial team.

“I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate [Patrick] and his team for doing such a fine job,” said John Kerr.