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Livingstone Range School Board covers $1-million deficit with operating reserves

Livingstone Range School Board used operating reserves to cover an anticipated deficit of just over $1-million as enrollment continues to decline.
There will also be staff cuts of 2.3 full-time equivalent teaching positions and 34.188 full-time equivalent education assistant positions.
At its June 23 meeting the school board approved its 2015-’16 budget, presented by associate superintendent for business services Jeff Perry.
“This year for many schools was a challenging budget,” Perry said.
“We anticipate having an operating deficit of just over $1-million,” Perry continued. “This is a planned deficit.”
That means many schools will be using reserves to transition over a two-year period.
“All of these (schools) identified it was one time in nature,” Perry said.
The budget anticipates revenues of $47,924,315 and expenditures of $48,946,655 resulting in a projected deficit of $1,022,340.
The expenses break down to $36.6-million for instruction; $2-million for board and system administration; $6.96-million for plant operations and maintenance; and $3.24-million for transportation; for total expenses of $48,946,655.
Perry said there was a 1.8 per cent increase to base funding grants and a two per cent increase to class size grants. All other grants remain at the 2014-’15 level.
This year enrollment is projected to decrease 127 full-time equivalent students, which equates to a decrease of 3.7 per cent.
There were also salary adjustments.
Teachers received a two per cent increase to the salary grid and a one per cent lump sum payment in November of 2015.
CUPE support staff received a two per cent increase to the salary grid, as did non-union support staff.
The Willow Creek School Bus Drivers Association received no increase to their salary grid.
Perry said the budget adjustments by Alberta Education increase revenues but also increase costs as the one per cent lump sum owed to teachers now comes out of the budget. Originally Alberta Education was to provide additional funding to cover this payment.
The net impact to Livingstone Range is a decrease of $10,000.
There are projected to be 2.3 fewer full-time equivalent teaching positions, and a decrease of 34.188 full-time equivalent staff positions, which is a reflection of declining enrollment.
Plant operations and maintenance, transportation, and administration all have balanced budgets.
However, rising fuel costs put at risk the ability to stay within budget for the transportation department.

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