The Abbotsford School District plans to appeal an enrolment audit conducted in January that slashed $234,000 in provincial funding from the district.
The district has a total of 40 days to appeal the audit, which focused on enrolments at Abbotsford Senior and Rick Hansen secondary schools and the Bakerview Centre for Learning during the week of Jan. 14.
In the audit, the school district was found to be 24 full-time equivalent (FTE) students and 11 other designated students in excess, drawing an extra $234,532 in funding.
“The audit team visited each school to review student files, interview staff, and conclude on their observations,” the ministry’s audit report reads.
“The audit team followed a process in each school which gave administrators and program staff opportunities to locate and present additional evidence when the team found that such evidence was not available in the documentation presented by the school”
The audit team made 13 observations in its report, each observation typically concluding a lack of sufficient evidence for a handful of students being enrolled in classes. Among the observations, the audit found lacking evidence for 12.5 full-time equivalent students in grade 10 to 12 courses, 8.5 FTEs in the Sept. 28 enrolment records and three in alternate programs.
The adjustment in funding has already been calculated into budget documents, secretary-treasurer Ray Velestuk told school board last week, but added that he intends to challenge at least part of the audit’s findings.
“Sometimes (it) was as simple as the page where the students signed in for a program wasn’t dated, and so the ministry disallowed those FTEs in the program, because the requirement was that these certain things have to be completed,” Velestuk said.
“And I get it, even though I think we could reasonably demonstrate that these are students taking the course. It was one of those technicalities. So that’s the nature of our appeal. We are going to appeal some of these.”