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Rocky View Schools reports $10M surplus of revenue

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 10:33 am

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A review of the audited financial statements for Rocky View Schools (RVS) for the year ending Aug. 31, 2013, reveals a $10.2-million surplus of revenue in the 2012 to 2013 school year.

“The bulk of these revenues were derived through sales of property owned by the jurisdiction around the Education Centre,” said RVS Director of Finance Karyn Golem.

“Also contributing to the surplus was lower than anticipated salary and benefit costs, and an increased number of CEUs earned by high school students.”

CEU - Credited Enrollment Units - are the method the government uses to allocate funds to school jurisdictions for senior high school courses.

This brings RVS operating reserves to $16.9 million, although trustees were quick to point out only $4 million is not committed to other projects.

“In summary, the RVS financial outlook is very healthy,” Golem told the trustees.

Trustee Sylvia Eggerer said she is worried the audited results will make it appear RVS has more available funds then they do.

“It gives an impression that is not a real impression,” she said.

The difference can be partially contributed to a change in financial reporting to the Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards in an effort to be more in-line with Alberta Education’s auditing practices.

The new standards require a different way of accounting for reserves, which has resulted in the apparent increase in reserve funds.

“This new way of reporting is going to make it look like there is more in reserve funds than we actually have,” Trustee Helen Clease said, adding it will make it harder for the division to lobby the government for more funding.

Of the $16.9 million in operating reserves, $4 million sits at the school level, $8.5 million remains restricted funds for maintenance projects, future school improvement and transportation costs, and the remaining roughly $4 million sits in unrestricted reserves.

During the same meeting the board approved amendments to the 2013 to 2014 Fall Budget.

The amendments took into account the 301 extra students which brings in an additional $2.6 million to the budget, this money was directed largely to the schools.

The division also received $2.9 million from student fees and $143.6 million from grants.

However, RVS faces an Instruction and Administration Block deficit of $710,000 due largely in part to new administration costs for the three new schools set to open in 2014.

In addition, the division is reporting a deficit in the Student Transportation Block of $318,353 as a result of Alberta Education eliminating fuel grants. These deficits, as well as the approximately $1.02 million deficit projected in the original operating budget, increases the overall operating deficit to about $2.2 million for the 2013 to 2014 budget.


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