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RVS draws from reserves to correct error

RVS was forced to draw from reserve funds to balance this year’s budget after discovering a staff error in the 2010 budget.

RVS was forced to draw from reserve funds to balance this year’s budget after discovering a staff error in the 2010 budget.

The error, which resulted in an overstatement of revenue totalling $477,713, was a result of miscounting the number of grant-eligible students.

“We counted the ineligible Alberta Education students as eligible students as well as counted the INAC (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) students,” said Darrell Couture, associate superintendent of operations and finance.

“We counted them as if they were Alberta Education students and counted them as federal students.”

The funds were taken from the Instruction Reserve.

Because of the half-million dollar error, the amount of the money taken from the reserve to balance this year’s budget will increase from $1.1 million to $1.5 million.

“(Last year) we pulled $444,000 from our reserves to balance our budget,” said Couture.

“I was quite frankly dismayed to see the mistake in these numbers and the fact that we’re just about $500,000 behind the eight ball when we thought we had money to send back to our schools,” said Ward 5 Trustee Colleen Munro.

“Everyone makes mistakes, we’ll go forward, we’ll figure it out.”

Last year, the school board received $1.1 million from the Alberta Government for educational grants. RVS ran a $1.1 million surplus.

The 2009-10 surplus was divided between schools and technology. Money was also allotted to a human resources contingency fund, which has since been reduced from $100,000 to $42,222.

“Budgets are imperfect documents, there are always going to end up being difficulties,” said Ward 3 Trustee Don Thomas.

“What I’m pleased about is we have the bulk of the ($1.1 million) going to schools directly.”

Other budget adjustments included hiring a junior communications writer at a cost of $45,000 and superintendents’ salaries being increased by a total of $11,000.

“On a $170-million budget, if you vary by $200,000 to $300,000 dollars, that’s like being balanced,” said Couture.

Rocky View Schools’ 2010/11 operating budget is $171,228,057.

RVS will submit its report to Alberta Education following a Dec. 2 board meeting.

Airdrie Today Staff

About the Author: Airdrie Today Staff

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