Public board announces surplus

The Rainy River District School Board announced a financial surplus of $464,000 for the 2002-03 year at its regular meeting Tuesday night, which will be put back into classrooms.
The board reported the surplus in the classroom portion of the budget and allocated the money to the classroom reserve funds.
The financial committee recommended the largest chunk of the funds be used for library resources—to increase collections of non-fiction and hardcover literature as well as to improve online resources.
Elementary libraries will receive $150,000 while the secondary one will receive $75,000.
Another $30,000 will go towards professional development in the junior division while $30,000 has been earmarked for science and technology materials at the secondary level, including computer software.
The board also allocated $25,000 for secondary textbooks, which are not fully covered by the new curriculum funding, and $25,000 for at-risk student support in literacy and math programs.
The surplus funds also will be spent on writing materials at the primary level, reading materials at the junior level, kindergarten program materials such as math and reading resources, and classroom equipment such as overhead projectors.
“During a time when trustees and budget managers are called on to be more accountable than ever, our group passed with flying colours,” trustee Gord McBride said.
The financial committee’s report also outlined areas of concern for the board, including transportation, plant, and school office.
“They are not funded appropriately for our needs,” chief financial officer Laura Mills warned.
The board spends more than the provincial funding model provides in these areas in order to serve the needs of students, she explained.
For instance, the board spent about $390,000 more than it received in funding in special education and $292,000 more in transportation.
In order to fund these areas, the board continues to underspend in administration, Mills noted.
(Fort Frances Times)