The Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury is looking for ways to spend a $10 million surplus.

That's how much the Sudbury area English public school board came out ahead on its finances in the last year.

Chair Doreen Dewar said the board aims to spend half of that on student services, including enhanced mental health programs.


Rainbow District School Board chair Doreen Dewar. (Rainbow District School Board website)

Decisions on exactly how it will be spent will come in the new year.

But because much of the $10 million comes from one-time provincial grants, Dewar said it can't be spent on hiring more employees.

“"We need to spend the money on one shot deals,” she said.

“We may never have this kind of money again."

The other boost to the budget was that enrolment at the Rainbow School Board dropped less than it budgeted for. Enrolment is down about 200 students, not the drop of 500 that the board anticipated.

Fundraising down

The school board also learned at its Tuesday night meeting that fundraising has fallen by $1 million.


Labour disruptions at the Rainbow District School Board in the last year saw school fundraising dip by $1 million. (CBC)

The $1 million drop is largely because a labour dispute had teachers refusing to lead extracurricular activities last year.

"Too often we assume … this is part of [a teacher’s] job,” Dewar said.

“Teachers are volunteers, the same as you or I. And without their time, we would see the difference."

Money raised by Sudbury area English public schools normally adds up to $4.5 million a year.

Some of that is goes back into the schools, but much of it is raised for community causes and charities.