For the second year in a row, School District 57 is in the black.
The total revenue for the 2017-2018 school year was approximately $159.5 million while expenses totaled $157.1 million. Total expenses are comprised of the expenses in the operating, special purpose and capital funds.
The district ended the year with a total accumulated surplus of $48.5 million. However, most of that ($31.5 million) is in the capital fund, which means it is not available for general use such as wages.
The operating revenue totaled $135.4 million against expenses of $131.9 million. The accumulated operating surplus increased to approximately $17 million at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
“That surplus will allow the new board the opportunity to invest some new dollars in support of student learning in the district,” said board chair Tim Bennett.
He added that because the district operates on a decentralized model, much of special purpose fund surpluses are returned directly to individual schools. The special purpose fund includes the annual facilities grant, learning Improvement fund, community link funding, the classroom enhancement fund and funding to support the four provincial resource programs. Finance chair Sharel Warrington added special purpose fund surpluses are “unsustainable,” meaning they cannot be spent on anything that is funded from year-to-year, such as wages.
Operating expenses for the 2017-2018 school year spent directly in support of students in schools were $107.1 million. This included allocations to 32 elementary schools, eight secondary schools and the Centre for Learning Alternatives along with school district staffing and educational services directly in support of schools. A total of $22 million was spent in support of financial and administrative services, student transportation, custodial services, maintenance of school building and equipment and grounds and all utilities, $2.7 million was spent in support of human resources staff, staff development and the corporate office.” Expenses in the special purpose funds totaled $17.3 million and included financial support for annual facility maintenance, learning improvement, classroom enhancement, nutrition supports and a number of provincial resources programs run through the district. Of those expenses, $7.8 million was spent specifically on classroom and support teachers through the classroom enhancement fund which was created and funded by the Government of British Columbia to ensure compliance with the language restored to the teachers’ collective agreement last year.
“The overall financial position of the school district is healthy,” said Bennett. “We did end the year in a great financial position while remaining compliant with the Supreme Court ruling and work starting at Kelly Road Secondary.”