WECDSB Sees Big Surplus

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board meets for its regular meeting on November 24, 2015. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

The Catholic school board is posting a $5.1-million surplus for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board Treasurer Mario Iatonna was expecting a $1-million surplus, but says increased enrolment and less expenditures than budgeted led to the surplus jump.

“We’re in a very strong financial position. We’ve almost offset completely our capital deficit. We have $4-million really that’s at our disposal,” says Iatonna.

The board now has an accumulated surplus of nearly $20-million with $11-million of that going in a reserve to offset the board’s $14.5-million capital deficit.

Iatonna says even though the board has the money, the province won’t allow the board to pay it off in one shot.

“Ideally, we’d like to pay off our capital deficit and get it off the books. However, the accounting rules currently say that you can’t, so we offset it. You come to the same end,” says Iatonna, adding there isn’t a strong charge to change the rules. “Boards really haven’t lobbied the ministry that aggressively to have the rules changed.”

Iatonna says in paying off the capital deficit in the same way a mortgage is paid off, the board is paying $1.6-million in interest. The remaining roughly $9-million of surplus is being held by the board in reserve, with half committed to operational expenses.