School Board Passes Annual Amended Budget
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George School Board passed its 2014-2015 amended annual budget last night.
It represents an updated estimate of operations taking into consideration actual student enrollment.
“The Board is encouraged that our funded school-age enrollment is virtually unchanged from the 2013-2014 school year after many years of declining enrollment,” said chairperson Tony Cable.
The amended budget totals $151.5 million including the operating fund ($132 million), special purpose fund ($10.3 million) and the capital fund ($9.2 million).
“In the operating fund, expenses exceed revenue by $7.9 million. The plan is to support these expenses through the use of surplus. The annual budget adopted by the Board last May called on the use of $3.3 million of surplus. During the fall the board appropriated an additional $400,000 of surplus.”
The remaining $4.2 million of surplus will support the following expenses:
– Additional surplus used by schools in their 2014-2015 organizations – $1.4 million
-Ministry of Education approved three year plan in support of Aboriginal Education – $900,000
-Unspent funds from prior years in support of student learning and increasing teacher capacity – $300,000
-Unspent funds from prior years in support of BC Education Plan initiatives – $800,000
-Unspent funds of prior yeas in support of equipment replacement, technology upgrades and energy efficiency improvements – $800,000
The Board noted its greatest concern was the $1 million used to balance the annual budget last May with Trustee Sharel Warrington remarking “using that magnitude of surplus in a single year is not a sustainable practice.”
The Board also passed a motion requesting a face-to-face meeting with Education Minister Peter Fassbender to discuss the Board’s ongoing funding challenges.