Reduction of staff, services expected in school board budget

Monique Chiasson
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‘Nova Scotia is already moving backwards and will continue to do so if cuts to education are not halted’

TRURO – With the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board less than a month away from releasing its 2013-2014 budget, chairwoman Trudy Thompson wants the public to understand some of the expected hardships.

During the school board’s regular monthly meeting recently, Thompson was very clear on specific areas that will be greatly affected when the budget is officially released at a board meeting in Westville on June 12.

Although specific dollar figures can’t be released for the most part until next month, Thompson did confirm that a shortfall of $2.5 million will impact various areas.

“We are looking at reducing staff and services. Our classrooms will be larger this fall and (there will be) less supports,” said Thompson, alluding in part to the 31 full-time equivalent teaching positions that will be lost.

“This will not be enough,” she said, adding the school board will also have to balance its budget keeping in mind heating, electricity, fuel, repairs and the absorption of $1.8 million worth of contract negotiations with unions.

Thompson said it’s a difficult situation, especially given dramatic cuts to the education system in the past few years.

“We’re going backwards as a system. It’s already (been) dismantled the last two years and … again this year,” she said.

“It will not be felt for a number of years … all Nova Scotians will feel (it). Nova Scotia is already moving backwards and will continue to do so ifcuts to education are not halted.”

Thompson urged the public to communicate their concern regarding the education cuts with politicians.

“As prospective MLAs come knocking on your door (when an  election is called), I’d like everyone to … discuss this and make it a top priority.”

 

Organizations: Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Chignecto, Westville

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