POLITICS

Ontario appoints supervisor to manage finances at Windsor-Essex school board

08/28/2012 04:19 EDT | Updated 10/28/2012 05:12 EDT
WINDSOR, Ont. - A provincial supervisor has been appointed to oversee finances at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

Education Minister Laurel Broten says the supervisor will help the cash-strapped school board balance its budget without any labour disruptions.

The Ontario government launched a review of the school board's finances in July after the board failed to get out of the red for five of the past six years.

In August, the school board reported an anticipated accumulated deficit of $3.6 million, even though the original budget showed no deficit.

It is the only school board in the province to have an accumulated deficit.

An investigator's report released Tuesday recommended the board be placed under provincial supervision and asked that the ministry provide additional resources so it can regain its financial footing.

The report also highlighted a number of significant risks surrounding the board's ability to rectify its financial position in the short term.

Broten says the financial issues are a result of several problems, including inadequate financial management, lack of ownership and accountability and an inability to create and maintain accurate budgets throughout the year.

"Our government has a responsibility to take action when others who have been trusted with public dollars are consistently unable to manage them responsibly," Broten said Tuesday.

"The willingness of the board to endure strikes to meet its financial responsibilities was also of significant concern to me. My actions today will ensure that this board is put back on track so that it can make responsible decisions that are in the best interests of students," she said.

(CKLW, The Canadian Press)