For most parents, their experience with the School District is defined by their contact with their school, the classroom and their child’s teacher. But there is a great deal going on behind the scenes to support that picture.
For the year ending June 30, 2012, the District spent over $19 million in salaries and benefits alone and employed over 400 people, including teachers, administrative support and replacement staff.
For the year ending June 30, 2012, the District spent over $7 million in supplies and services. Overall, the District distributed in excess of $26 million for the 2011-12 school year, much of it spent in our community.
|Payroll & Benefits
What is an operating budget? What is capital?
The operating budget is an expenditure plan to meet the daily requirements of the District. That includes teacher salaries, classroom resources, keeping the schools clean and the fields mowed, transporting students to school, paying utility bills, providing clerical and administrative support – all the things a school needs when it opens its doors.
Capital expenditures refer to acquisition or improvement of assets. A bus purchase would be a capital expenditure. These projects are funded directly by the Ministry of Education. They are not paid out of operating funds.
Where does the money come from?
Approximately 90% of the District’s operating funds are received as a grant from the Province. The Province uses a formula to distribute funding to all school districts, and that formula is primarily driven by a district’s enrollment. In 2009-10 the block funding amount was $5,851 per student and represented roughly 65% of the Provincial grant.
What does the “per student” funding amount pay for?
It pays for the educational programs such as:
- Career Prep
- Learning Resources
- Library and Counseling Services
- School Office Supplies
It also pays for fixed costs including:
- Building and grounds maintenance
- Heating and Utilities
- Custodial services
- Education and Business administrative services
This funding does not include capital projects.
When does the budget have to be completed?
Work on the Preliminary Budget for the coming school year begins in January as staff begin to project enrolment, revenue, and costs. While the deadline for submitting the Preliminary Budget is June 30th, the School District attempts to complete their budget process before the end of April in order to plan for September staffing.
How does the School District report its spending to the public?
The School District is required to have an audit performed every year, and to provide the public with the results of the audit. In addition, the Board of Education must report information about major expenditures in a Statement of Financial Information. The annual Audit is presented to the Board in September of the following year, and the Statement of Financial Information is available in December that following year. Once accepted by the Board, these documents are available to the public (September 30 and December 31 respectively).
What about taxes? What does my property tax cover, and how do you raise taxes?
In actual fact, only one third of revenue for education is received from property tax, and if the taxpayer receives a homeowner or a senior grant, none of their property tax goes towards education.
The Board does not have the authority to raise taxes. Mill rates for school districts are set by the Province. A School District can hold a referendum to raise funds for very specific purposes, but not for operating costs.
How does the Capital Budget work?
The Capital Budget functions separately from the Operating Budget. The Board of Education submits a Five Year Capital Plan to the Ministry of Education every year, with items the Board considers necessary in priority order. The Ministry of Education reviews each district’s Five Year Capital Plan and assigns their priority number to each item. Only items prioritized as #1 are funded by the Ministry of Education. Funding for Capital projects is received separately from the Operating Budget and are accounted and reported separately