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Education

School Board Budgeting Follow-up

 

SUMMARY

In our October 2006 report, we recommended that the Department of Education:

  • improve the school board budget process
  • work with key stakeholder associations to provide guidance to school board trustees on minimum standards for interim financial reporting and best practices for fulfilling financial monitoring responsibilities, including having strong budgetary control systems

The department implemented our recommendations by:

  • providing information to help school boards prepare budgets on time
  • examining whether school boards are applying and disclosing realistic assumptions when preparing their budgets
  • reviewing whether school boards’ budget update reports are reasonable and are submitted on time
  • monitoring the financial health of school boards by annually assessing the reasonableness of accumulated operating surplus or deficit balances and examining financial trends over a five-year period
  • developing minimum standards for interim financial reporting and providing information on controls and best practices to encourage further improvements in financial monitoring

Why this is important to Albertans

In 2013 the department paid $6.3 billion in grants to Alberta school boards.2 Albertans want assurance that the department and school boards have appropriate systems to ensure that school boards are operating within the resources allocated to them. Failure to do so may result in certain education programs not being provided if current funding must be used to eliminate accumulated operating deficits.

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