The local public school board may have cut more positions and kept its budget balanced this year, but it has not yet begun to address its deficit.
Canadian Rockies Public Schools passed the $25.8 million budget at the end of May, but chair Kim Bater indicated that did not include any payments on money it owes the province after several years of running a deficit.
Bater said the deficit is at $1.6 million and it is expected that once the 2011-2012 school year financials are audited in the fall that number will increase.
He said with a balanced budget for next year the board can approach Alberta Education and begin discussing CRPS’s situation. He added that could include a request for debt forgiveness or a possible requisition through a plebiscite during the next election.
Last year, CRPS cut $1.3 million from its budget and 16 teaching positions and this year it is cutting $43,000, 3.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) teacher and five FTE education assistant positions.
It is also moving forward with a legislated process to sell two pieces of property in Exshaw.
“We actually own a house and we are going to sell that and a storage shed because they don’t have any ongoing value and we don’t need them,” Bater said. “We are wanting to simplify and bring in revenue.”
The properties are appraised at $229,800 for both and Alberta Education requires a highly structured process with a closed bid system.