Highlights from the February 22 Finance & Legal Committee (V).
The 2016/17 budget has been updated with actual spending and revised projections to year end (June 30, 2017) with an estimated $1.04 million surplus, about one-fifth of 1% of the annual budget. With budgeting to average, close forecasting and small contingencies there are no longer large in-year surpluses. It is anticipated that any surplus would be carried forward to 2017/18 to address the estimated $12 million shortfall.
The SCC interim funding of $4.45M is not yet in the budget.
Legal expenses are more than double last year’s, primarily due to increased freedom of information requests.
Utilities budgets have been amended to reflect the cold weather.
Examples of non-cyclical items for sale and leaseback are furniture & instructional materials.
There are fewer International student refunds and this can be addressed further at the Education and Student Services Committee (III).
The proposed 2017/18 budget process/timeline is similar to last year’s with the addition of an online survey for public and stakeholder input. The budget will be presented on April 6. What is different is that a five-year financial plan will be presented, to match the five-year strategic plan.
The Official Trustee will be asking the Ministry for clarity on district funding, as it needs to be dependable, adequate and stable for a five-year plan, and in the past it has been a moving target.
Staff commented that three years of education funding was announced in the provincial budget, and that they are assuming the amount announced only covers class size and composition funding resulting from the SCC court case, not any additional monies.
The estimated 2017/18 $12 million shortfall is made up from $9 million carried forward from previous one-time cuts and $3 million due to inflation and enrolment decline.
There could be news in the next couple of weeks about how the Ministry will move forward with the fire-damaged Carleton Elementary.
For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees