SD43 records $3.5 M surplus, audited statements show

Coquitlam district trustees expected to approve audited statements at meeting tonight, most of the surplus already allocated

School District 43 ended the 2014/'15 school year with a $3.5-million surplus — a million more than was discussed in June.

But that's within a reasonable range, according to a report that will be discussed at a scheduled board meeting tonight at Winslow Centre in Coquitlam.

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Still, only about $1.1 million of the funds has yet to be spent, with the remaining $2.4 million already allocated for the next three years for school needs.

The surplus is about 1.3% of the school district's budget, slightly less than the 2% to 3% recommended by Ernst and Young, the report states.

Still, the funds come as a boon to the district that has been strapped for cash over the past few years, with programs cut and teachers laid off, and the audited results show the district did even better than anticipated in its third-quarter financial statements.

In June, the district was projecting a a $2.5-million budget, prompting trustees to approve an expenditure of the funds over 2015/’16 and two following years, at $800,000 each year, with the goal of smoothing out bumps in finances.

At the time, the board was told the so-called "unrestricted surplus" was from a variety of sources, including higher than expected international education student enrolment, lower utility costs, extra money from the province when spring enrolment was confirmed and investment income.

Some students have already benefited from the extra cash. In July, the district held a summer clinic to cut a waiting list for psycho-educational assessments for students with special learning needs. In all, 18 students were re-tested, according to an SD43 report, with some needing the tests to get access to high school and post-secondary programs while others needed them to qualify for adult services through Community Living B.C.

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