The school district managed to craft a budget that allows it to pay off a half-a-million dollar deficit.
Trustees passed the 2011/12 budget, which included a $2,014,000 revenue increase compared to an earlier budget for the year. The district had additional operating expenses of $1,492,707, including the cost of extra teachers.
There is a remaining surplus of $521,237, which will go toward a deficit left over from the previous school year. One area boosted in the budget was the amount the district allocates to pay for substitute teachers.
When the budget was presented at Tuesday's school board meeting, board chair James Janzen asked district administrators if other school districts are seeing an increase in the cost of substitute teachers.
"Have you talked to colleagues in other districts?" Janzen asked Bob Tamblyn, the district's director of human resources.
"It's a guess as to why, however it's increasing," Tamblyn told him.
The district also increased $100,000 to pay for "management of issues requiring legal and other external professional assistance."
"One of the things we've done the last couple of years, we've cut back drastically on the amount of legal costs," board of education vice-chair Michael Ewen told The Record. "Most of them (are) personnel-related. - In a year of collective bargaining, there are often times you need to check something out with the lawyer."
The district benefited from a December announcement that the Ministry of Education would provide further funding for full-time students. The district received $649,000 in holdback funding (money the Ministry of Education retains for potential enrolment increases throughout the year).
The district is also estimating that it will receive an additional $150,000 (on top of $200,000) from its business company, which runs a school in China.