District receives Meritorious Budget Award from ASBO

The Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International has awarded Lethbridge School District No. 51 its Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) for excellence in budget presentation during the 2015–2016 budget year.

The Meritorious Budget Awards (MBA) program promotes and recognizes excellence in school budget presentation and enhances school business officials' skills in developing, analyzing and presenting a school-system budget. After a rigorous review by professional auditors, the award is conferred only on school districts that have met or exceeded the program’s stringent criteria.

Director of Finance for Lethbridge School District No. 51, Christine Lee, has led the development and submission of the district budget to ASBO International’s MBA Program for the last 11 years. This is the 10th year in a row Lethbridge School District No. 51 has received the MBA. The District received its first MBA in 2006-2007, being the first Canadian school district to receive the award.

Today, at its regular meeting, the Board of Trustees congratulated the Business Affairs department, and specifically Christine Lee.

“I just want to congratulate our Business Affairs team and Christine and all of those that work on the budget process,” said Board of Trustees Chair Mich Forster.

Lee added many, many factors go into crafting a budget each and every year.

“To be considered for the Meritorious Budget Award, the budget must meet stringent criteria. It is not just a document about financial information. A document that meets the criteria for the MBA tells a story about the District, which includes organization information such as the jurisdictional profile and priorities of the board.”

She added the amount of information included in a budget is staggering.

“There is an informational section that includes information on staffing, enrolment, goals, outcomes and performance measures and survey information. Of course, the budget document includes a very comprehensive financial section that provides high-level summary or more detailed information by school. There is something in the document for everyone.”

The document provides information for the general community, as well as the detailed information a financial expert would understand about the budget and the budget process used by the district. 

“On a personal level, being involved in the MBA program has continued to help improve how I develop and present the budget in a manner that demonstrates the District’s commitment to fiscal accountability and to a budget process that is open and transparent,” said Lee.

To view the document go to www.lethsd.ab.ca/documents/general/2015-2016%20Preliminary%20Budget.pdf