David Green

Bigger bite out of school deficit

Thrifty schools save district $2 million

Trimming costs, a little bit here and a little bit there, had added up to a nearly $2 million savings for the Langley School District, and a substantial bite out of its $13.5 million deficit.

Secretary-treasurer David Green said the district has made “significant gains” on its deficit reduction strategy, during his presentation of the 2010-2011 financial statement at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Every school in the district came in under budget for supplies and services, trimming spending on a “multitude” of items, Green explained.

“The schools took to heart the fact that we found ourselves in the situation we did.”

The result of that, coupled with other savings, is the district now has less than $10 million to repay.

Green warned the district still faces financial “challenges.”

Trustees were pleased.

“Good job,” Trustee Rob MacFarlane said. “It hasn’t been easy.”

Trustee Wendy Johnson was upbeat.

“We are in fact on a very firm foundation,” she said.

“We’re in a very solid place financially.”

The district must find at least $3.375 million every year for the next four years to pay down the debt that was run up during several years of overspending.

Green reported other savings were realized by improved accounting procedures, such as calculating as salary recovery, the amount the district saves when staff go on workers compensation.

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