A new report released by the BC Auditor General concludes that most school districts throughout the province are following good budget practices, but there are areas for improvement at both the district and government level.
The report comes after the Auditor General’s office looked at a sample of four school districts across the province that represent different budget sizes and geographical areas.
Bellringer says that the audit looked at budget management, and did not investigate funding levels of any individual school districts.
“We looked at a limited sample, and we looked at the processes. We point out in the report we didn’t do an audit across the board to make sure that every single school division was following all of those processes.”
She adds that even though the audit was limited in scope, and can’t be generalized across the province, the report was written so that any district could learn from it.
The key area for improvement is strategic planning.
“What we found when we looked at this is that in only one case was there a formalized document brought to the board. It was generally a verbal report, and it should be something far more structured than that”
The report included six recommendations for school districts, and two for the Ministry of Education to improve budget practices.
Bellringer wouldn’t speak specifically to the budget issues facing the Vancouver School Board as they were not one of the districts audited for the report.