Catholic school board posts surplus

Strong enrolment growth and cost savings on operations and maintenance left the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division with a sizeable budget surplus for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Strong enrolment growth and cost savings on operations and maintenance left the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division with a sizeable budget surplus for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The division posted a surplus of $4.2 million for the year, with revenues of $84.1 million and expenses just below $80 million. A slight deficit had been projected at the beginning of the year.

The division had projected its enrolments to grow by about 1 per cent, but growth of just over 5 per cent occurred. Since the province allocates funding to school divisions based on student numbers, the board had a greater revenue stream.

Board chair Guy Pelletier said expenses would typically go up with rising enrolments as well, but thanks to savings in division operations and maintenance, expenses for the year ended up being about $1.2 million less than expected.

The surplus will go into divisional reserves, with some of the funds expected to be allocated this year to inclusive education — for special needs and non-native English speaking students, for example — and perhaps the installation of up to eight modular classrooms for schools in Red Deer.

“We are seeing some changes to the way our inclusive education is funded, and our funding will drop quite dramatically starting next fiscal year,” said Pelletier.

With strong enrolment growth again in 2013-14, the division is expecting a balanced budget for the current fiscal year, with expenses in the range of $82.5 million.

Also at its Nov. 26 meeting:

l The board directed administration to review the division’s procedures relating to the singing of O Canada. The division’s current procedure largely leaves the frequency of anthem singing to each school principal’s discretion, though all schools must include it at least once a week during opening exercises.

Pelletier said some schools sing it only once per week, while others do twice a week or five times a week. The decision to review was made in response to a parent’s concern that patriotism displays were not frequent enough.

“Some people would suggest it should be sung five times a week, and some schools do that, particularly at the younger grades,” he said.

l Performance by students within the division has exceeded provincial standards for the fifth year in a row, according to Alberta Education data.

Within the division, the high school completion rate of 86 per cent is 11 per cent higher than the provincial average while the drop out rate of 1.4 per cent is less than half of the province-wide standard.

While students within the division scored higher than average results on provincial achievement tests (PAT) as well, scores in the division declined significantly over the last year.

l The board unanimously supported the city’s 2019 Canada Winter Games bid. If the bid is successful, both the Red Deer Catholic and Red Deer Public school divisions would likely see their schools closed for a week at a time, with school transportation and facilities being used by Games athletes.

mfish@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

RCMP investigate suspicious package in downtown Red Deer

Part of downtown Red Deer was closed to traffic due to a… Continue reading

Ottawa’s apathy on rural crime ‘outrageous,’ say central Alberta MPs

Recent parliamentary committee report on rural crime inadequate say MPs

The future’s exciting, but also a bit scary, for Red Deer’s high school grads

Concerns about job prospects, high cost of education expressed

Blind calf finds friendship in dog in central Alberta

Heaven and Sweetpea are best buddies. Heaven, a calf who was born… Continue reading

Walk raises awareness of victims of domestic violence

Central Alberta men and boys will walk a mile in high heels… Continue reading

Dogs and drugs don’t mix: Red Deer business wants to leave downtown after 18 years

One business owner is done with downtown Red Deer after 18 years.… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Seniors: The unheard melodies

The sights and sounds around us enable us to experience our world.… Continue reading

Police find urn with ashes along bank of Red Deer River

RCMP find urn with ashes along bank of Red Deer River Red… Continue reading

North Vancouver RCMP seek skier whose pole caused brain injury to B.C. teen

VANCOUVER — A North Vancouver family is joining with RCMP to urge… Continue reading

Canadian ‘Aladdin’ star eyes diverse career championing homegrown talent

TORONTO — Canadian “Aladdin” star Mena Massoud says his wild carpet ride… Continue reading

Supreme Court will tuck into UberEats case about drivers’ benefit rights

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will help decide whether a… Continue reading

Speech from the throne: Read the entire text outlining UCP priorities

The following is the speech from the throne, read Wednesday in the… Continue reading

Canada’s Rebecca Marino drops second-round French Open qualifying match

PARIS — Canada’s Rebecca Marino fell just short in a second-round qualifying… Continue reading

Most Read