Medicine Hat Public School Division director of finance Leanne Dulle has presented audited financial statements to the board.

The board’s external auditor Avail LLP completed the 2022-23 audit and it was clean, as it has been for the past several years.

The spring budget for 2022-23 had a deficit of $74,000, which increased to a predicted deficit of $499,400 for the fall budget, whereas MHPSD now has a surplus of $975,820.

“We intended to have a deficit in order to spend below Alberta Education’s reserve cap. When we underspent, it created a challenge for us that we needed to address by putting in additional supports and services for children in place. Now, we are in an excellent position in terms of a planned deficit in order to get us to the cap (MHPSD has a 3.15% reserve cap),” explained superintendent Mark Davidson.

“What happened is schools slowed some spending and there are sometimes areas when someone will go on a leave and can’t be replaced so their salary is contributing to an unintended surplus. As soon as we get to a place where we realize we have an unintended surplus, we make a plan to use it effectively in order to support students because we can’t carry a reserve bigger than the 3.15%.

It is certainly a good-news budget in terms of us having the resources to provide services to students that they need and having a plan to spend down those reserves in a way that is thoughtful and for the needs of the kids. It is a good place to be.”

A portion of the unexpected surplus will be used for specialized service classrooms throughout MHPSD, which will begin running mid-year, and additional supports have been put in all schools across the division.

by Samantha Johnson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 05, 2023 at 16:35

This item reprinted with permission from   Medicine Hat News   Medicine Hat, Alberta

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