Administrative Procedure 501
The Division has a responsibility to budget in a fiscally responsible manner to provide effective and efficient stewardship of its funds, resources and assets. The Superintendent, Secretary-Treasurer, associate superintendents, principals and directors are responsible for the financial outcomes of their schools and departments.
Client Service Centre:
is a department that provides non-mandated goods and services to internal and external clients—for example, Next Step Continuing Education (non-credit).
Externally Restricted Funds:
are funds received for operations that have stipulations set by an organization external to the Division.
are internally restricted funds that are allocated for a specific purpose during the year and must be recorded and spent only on the approved use. Examples would be snow removal and severance payments.
Internally Restricted Funds:
are funds received for operations that have stipulations set by the Division—for example, in-year funding allocations and expenses designated as Hold Harmless.
are accumulated surplus funds that may be designated to a school, department and priority.
- Should exceptional situations arise whereby the overall needs of the Division supersede the needs of individual schools and departments, the Superintendent and Secretary-Treasurer shall adjust carry-forward limits and processes defined in this Administrative Procedure as deemed necessary.
- During the transition period of leadership staff, the departing leader, the new leader, and a representative from Financial Services shall meet about the budget, forecasts, and financial position of the school or department.
- Operating budgets
- Budgets shall be developed and implemented as balanced budgets as per the allocations of the Division.
- Budgets shall be submitted as per the timelines and processes communicated by the Secretary-Treasurer.
- Principals shall provide budget information to their respective school councils and staff prior to the budget submission, and at other times as deemed necessary.
- Budgets shall be created using defensible projections, reflecting historical trends and considering the future needs of the school or department.
- Budgets shall reflect expenses that are proportionate with Division averages.
- Monitoring and forecasting
- Principals and directors shall monitor spending and budget variances on a monthly basis for their respective budgets.
- Monthly forecasts are to be completed from December to August.
- In March, principals and directors shall submit a forecast to the Secretary-Treasurer in a prescribed format.
- Forecasts that project a deficit shall include a plan to eliminate the deficit by year-end.
- Additional forecasts may be requested.
- Financial positions and forecasts shall be presented to senior administration and the Board of Trustees.
- Principals and directors shall be accountable for expending internally and externally restricted funds on the specific programs and/or students identified. Internally restricted funds not used for the specified programs and/or students shall be returned to the general reserve of the Division.
- Budget to actual variances shall be monitored through a financial reporting process. The Superintendent shall direct changes to be made where appropriate.
- Operating surplus and deficit (not including school generated funds)
- Surplus and deficit are calculated as follows:
- Schools – allocation and reserve carry forwards, including operations and credit enrolment units (CEUs), less actual expenses in a current year;
- Departments (excluding client service centres) – block allocations, reserve carry forwards, and actual revenue less actual expenses in a current year; and
- Client services centres – actual revenue and reserve carry forwards less actual expenses.
- Schools and departments may carry forward surplus funds of up to two per cent of their total operating budget, excluding:
- Next Step Continuing Education (credit) and Next Step Outreach – surplus shall be returned to the Division Unallocated Reserve to support the block funding of Next Step Outreach; and
- At the end of the summer term, the Principal of Next Step or Continuing Education shall provide an estimate of CEUs earned in the off-campus education program, and costs associated with CEUs earned to the Director of Financial Services, who will make the necessary budget allocations to schools.
- Calculation of two per cent carry forward is as follows:
- Schools – surplus as a percentage of the operating budget;
- Departments (excluding client service centres) – surplus as a percentage of the operating budget, excluding hold harmless, internally and externally restricted funds; and
- Client service centres – surplus as a percentage of the operating budget.
- Surplus funds shall be applied to the elimination of any prior year existing deficit.
- School surplus funds exceeding two per cent shall be allocated to the Leveraging Student Achievement Reserve.
- Department surplus funds exceeding two per cent shall be returned to the general reserve of the Division Unallocated Reserve.
- Reserve funds shall be used to support one-time expenses only, as this funding is not sustainable.
- If a school or department incurs a deficit at year-end:
- Future budget allocations shall be reduced accordingly.
- When the deficit is greater than two per cent of budget or there are recurring deficits—more than one year—that are less than two per cent of budget, the principal or director shall provide a written explanation to the Secretary-Treasurer including a plan to eliminate the deficit in the next fiscal year.
- If a client service centre does not provide a reasonable plan to return to profitability, it may be discontinued. As per Board Policy 2: Role of the Board, this recommendation must be reviewed and approved by the Board.
- Surplus and deficit are calculated as follows:
Section 20, 60, 61, 113, 116, 145, 147, 148, 152 School Act
Funding Manual for School Authorities
Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12
Policy and Requirements for School Board Planning and Reporting
School Authority Planning and Reporting Reference Guide
Last Updated: December 2019