Too early for budget specifics, says school board

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‘We have absolutely no information yet’

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board is still awaiting budget information from the provincial government.

TRURO – A budget discussion around the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board table on Wednesday night led to some question about when budget details will be shared with the public.

CCRSB superintendent Gary Clarke said, “we have absolutely no information (on the budget) yet” from the province.

“I’m not saying too much,” added school board chairwoman Trudy Thompson, saying during last year’s early and open budget meetings “we were told … we were being political.”

The Department of Education called for a review of the school board’s final budget in 2012 and the board faced some critical feedback from the public regarding cuts to the local education system.

Board member Ron Marks said it’s important the school board presents information to the public as soon as it becomes available.

“I have real concerns not letting the public know … the earlier we let the parents know the better off we will be,” Marks said, adding there could potentially be more time for people to share any concerns with government officials who influence the final budget directives.

Valerie Gauthier, director of financial services, said school board committees began looking at their individual budgets in December but it’s early in the process.

Thompson said the public will be made aware of the budget specifics when they are available.

“Once we receive information that’s not embargoed we can discuss it in a public forum,” said Thompson.

School board member Jamie Stevens added while it’s unknown what the government will dictate has to be done, cuts could come in more ways than one.

“The government pledged to balance the budget in three years … if the board has to absorb cost pressures then it’s still quite a cut,” said Stevens.

Organizations: Central Regional School Board, Department of Education

Geographic location: Chignecto

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