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Yk1 revenue down, expenditures up according to auditor's report

Northern News Services
Published Friday, September 16, 2011

An auditor's report presented at the first Yellowknife Education District No. 1 board of trustees meeting of the new school year Tuesday night concluded revenue was down and expenditures were up for 2010/2011.

Janet Toner of Mackay LLP, which conducted the audit, said although the total revenue, coming in at $29,695,395, was down from the previous school year's by $788,572, it was "higher than anticipated" by nearly $1 million.

There was a total deficit of $1,069,038, which was planned, said director of corporate services for Yk1, Tram Do. The operations deficit was budgeted at approximately $300,000 and came in at about $500,000. Do said the authorized hiring of additional teachers and support staff after the approval of the budget played a large role.

The other portion of the deficit came from the purchase of equipment, including virtual desktops at about $300,000, computer labs at $70,000, specialized accounting software at $70,000 and a canopy repair at N.J. Macpherson at $105,000, said Do.

The board is still running "a very large operating surplus," said Toner, though it is down to $1,370,748 from $2,549,118 in the 2009/2010 school year.

That surplus "was the reason why there was a budgeted deficit," said Toner. "(The board) was encouraged by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment to incur a deficit to bring down the overall operating fund surplus ... It seems like a bad news story but it's actually a good news story because otherwise future funding would be affected."

Improvements to William McDonald field scheduled for 2013

Metro Huculak, superintendent for Yellowknife Education District No. 1, said he had met with city officials regarding re-sodding the William McDonald field and upgrading it to regulation size for outdoor soccer.

In late 2010, NWT Soccer Association president Ryan Fequet told Yellowknifer the field had potential but was in need of repair.

"It's a bumpy surface, there's the sprinkler heads and all the holes in the pitch (from aerating)," he said.

"It's unsafe, but the real focus is we haven't had a full-sized pitch to play soccer on in Yellowknife for 11-on-11 play."

Huculak said city officials plan to close off the field for one month to six weeks in 2013. Officials said it couldn't be done sooner because there is no alternate place for children to play.

Additional kindergarten teacher for J.H. Sissons

J.H. Sissons School will be getting another kindergarten teacher after a motion was passed District No. 1 board of trustees meeting Tuesday night. Trustee Terry Brookes brought forth the motion, noting that, at 24 children in each of the two classes, Sissons has the largest kindergarten class sizes in Yk1.

"It's often very hard to predict how many kindergarten kids are out there," said Brookes, who attributed this to Yellowknife's transient population, the tendency of some parents to register their children at multiple schools and the fact that kindergartners have no prior enrolment statistics.

"I could say by Monday there will be three operational kindergarten classes. At least that's what I'm hoping," said Brookes.

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