The school board has accumulated an operating surplus of a little more than $10 million.
Norm Blaseg, the school board's director of education, said this year's surplus is due to a combination of not spending all of the government grants it received and having higher-than-expected enrolment, which is tied to grants.
“It's extremely good news for us,” he said.
He said the board has earmarked about $5 million of the accumulated surplus to spend on areas such as mental health supports, curriculum implementation, information technology and health and safety in the board's shops.
It's also spending $3 million on modernizing schools to make them more “green,” therefore reducing utility costs. Another $500,000 is being spent to fund retirement gratuities.
“We also retained $1.5 million in accumulated surplus,” Blaseg said. “If we overestimate or underestimate the enrolment, we want to make sure we have a little bit of a cushion.”
It wasn't all good news for the Rainbow board in 2012-2013, however.
Typically, the board fundraises about $4.5 million a year, but in the last school year, it only raised about $3.6 million. Blaseg said the difference is likely due to the labour strife amongst the province's teachers last year.
“That's fairly reflective of the environment we were in last year,” he said.