Sunday, July 4, 2010

Extended budget deadlines

A confirmation last week from a Ministry of Education official that the traditional end-of-June budget deadline for school boards has been extended to the end of July.
I had asked the question after attending a board meeting where a budget vote was postponed post-June 30 and I was told by the director of education of the new deadline. Ministry communications staffer confirmed it later in the week-- due, apparently, to the new budgeting provisions that come into effect in the 2010-11 school year, such as Public Sector Accounting Board standards and the confusing 1% rule, boards are being given until the end of July to ratify and submit their 2010-11 budgets.
I can't imagine there are that many who'll wait that long. Well, I can't imagine there are trustees who've waited that long-- they may have ratified and then left it to staff members to complete all the paperwork and submit to the ministry some time between the end of June and the end of July.


Anonymous said...

As usual the Ministry doesn't kow what it is doing, so how can the Trustees and Administration do their jobs.

Education Reporter said...

Anon 4 July 15:30

I only wish your comment made more sense. I'm no defender of the ministry or its competence or incompetence, but such generalities are the domain of one too lazy to actually make a comment that contains useful information.

The move to PSAB, as confusing as it is, is a good one. School boards should follow the same accounting and budgeting rules as other public-sector bodies. The boards are actually leading the way, given that municipalities are also implementing PSAB a year or two behind. This past year, 2009, was the first year municipalities had to account for the values of all their tangible assets. School boards had to report that in their 2008-09 audits.

Another example? The one-line statement boards now need to place in their audits regarding school-generated funds. It's a PSAB rule on any money that flows through board-managed accounts.

What happened this year was this was the first PSAB-compliant budget to be presented and the final step to flip the switch took longer than anyone thought. Who's fault that is? I don't know. It could be a little bit of everybody's.


Banderblogger said...

The lateness of school boards' budgets is always frustrating for everyone. Often programs and even jobs are held in limbo until the budgets are submitted, but if this is the price to pay for public and transparent accounting, it's well worth the wait.

Anonymous said...

My comment has to do with budget. I work for TVDSB that has instituted a new sick day (we gte 20) policy....they will take the average 10.4 a year & if you go over it, then you join 'the program'---then ahve 4 months to not get sick??!!?? If you keep going ove rthen you progress through diffferent phases with teh end result beingb terminantion, yet the hadnout given to us on the PD day (the school board has known about this since May) saying it is not can it not be punative if we can get terminanted??? Why give us 20 sick days a year and say of you take more than 10 then a letter follows you in your permanenet file? Have you heard of this with other boards? Can you look into it and post something about this? I feel than this issue is huge....espcially with H1N1 thsi last year, I was off 10 days just for that!!
Not happy TVSDB teacehr in London

Education Reporter said...

Anon 10 July 20:56

My colleagues at the London Free Press have already written about this.

It looks like your ETFO local (and likely the other employee unions) are objecting to this and preparing a response.


JIm said...

Various employers have absence management plans in place.

Being granted 20 sick days in the course of a year doesn't necessarily mean you're entitled to use them as you see fit. I suspect the 10.4 days is some sort of a board-wide average and anything above that is considered cause for concern.

Keep in mind that most board employees bank a big chunk of their allocation for the gratuity.

If taken entirely as sick days that'd be roughly one day every two weeks during the school year. That has all sorts of implications for staffing, scheduling, etc.