PwC Report Finds Significant Progress in VBE Fiscal Planning

Board & Committees, Schools & Students

PwC Report Finds Significant Progress in VBE Fiscal Planning

Vancouver – (June 5, 2015) – A review completed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the Vancouver Board of Education (VBE) found that the Board’s fiscal planning and resource allocation is well managed and on track to achieve a balanced budget for the 2015/2016 school year.

The report entitled Vancouver School Board Resource Allocation Review 2015 indicated that significant benefits have been accumulated since 2012, when PwC completed a similar report for the VBE. These benefits consist of $9.23 million in cost savings, $2.02 million in cost avoidance and $7.69 million in additional revenue generated.  

Earlier this spring, the Board was facing an $8.52 million shortfall for 2015/2016. However, it has now balanced the budget for the upcoming school year and approved a provisional budget on April 30.

Board Chairperson Christopher Richardson says that operating within an ongoing balanced budget environment while delivering high-quality education for students across the district is a top priority for the VBE. “The Board has worked hard to prepare a balanced budget for 2015/2016 and we stand behind our collaborative process,” he said.

PwC submitted the report to the Board for review on May 14, 2015. The key findings include:

  • VBE has fully implemented or has made significant progress towards implementing 25 of 29 recommendations included in the 2012 PwC report;   
  • PwC fully supports all of the proposals to balance the budget in the 2015/2016 provisional budget submitted by VBE senior management, with the exception of the target to receive $880,000 in Provincial holdback funds (PwC only provided partial support of this proposal owing to the moderate level of risk associated with actually receiving this amount from the Province); and,
  • PwC also identified eight additional initiatives that could lead to further operational efficiencies.  

VBE staff will examine these initiatives and provide a report for the Board’s consideration.

“I am pleased with the results of this report,” said Richardson. He noted, however, that “it is essential that both the initiatives contained in the 2012 report and those that were newly identified are integrated into the VBE’s ongoing fiscal management to ensure we achieve long-term budgetary and fiscal stability.”

 

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In March 2015, the Board engaged PwC to perform the following advisory services, including:

  • reviewing the recommendations of the Vancouver School Board Resource Allocation Review 2012 report and assessing the progress that has already been made by the VBE;
  • analyzing the proposals submitted by VBE management to balance the 2015/2016 provisional budget and provide an independent perspective on these proposals; and,
  • recommending additional opportunities for cost savings (beyond management’s proposals) based on leading practices and trends in the education sector.

“As the Board continues to look for ways to help offset projected funding shortfalls, our priority is to keep spending cuts as far away from the classroom as possible,” said Richardson. “We will review ways to increase revenues and decrease spending. However, at this time, no changes to the 2015/2016 provisional budget are anticipated as a result of the PwC report.” 

The VBE’s provisional budget will be finalized and submitted to the BC Ministry of Education for final approval by the end of June.

A copy of the recent PwC report is available at:

Vancouver School Board Resource Allocation Review 2015  

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VBE Media Relations

communications@vsb.bc.ca

604-788-5249