Massive cuts expected when school board budget is released next week
TRURO – Another year of "eroding" local education is about to take place, school board officials say.
"Over the past three years we've been taking and taking and taking," said Gary Clarke, superintendent of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. "We are eroding the system. I'm not sure how long our schools can do more with less ... we haven't been able to protect our (classrooms)."
Last night in Truro, the board discussed the preliminary 2013-2014 budget, which is facing a $2.5-million shortfall and is expected to be balanced next week. The budget will be about $195 million, the Truro Daily News was told.
It's estimated there could be 37.5 full-time equivalent positions cut, including potentially 3.3 FTE library positions.
Director of education services Scott Milner said that does not mean actual librarian job losses.
"There would be fewer hours," as opposed to lost positions, Milner explained. "There would be some adjustments but library services would be maintained in schools."
No teachers will lose jobs but those who retire will not be replaced.
Operations services reductions could result in two fewer buses and drivers. Property services could see less maintenance projects and the loss of 2.7 FTE positions.
In addition, a proposed $101,350 could be cut from administration and governance.
Board member Jamie Stevens said it's frustrating the government isn't communicating the right message to the public.
"We need the minister (of education) to acknowledge how hard it is ... to acknowledge our challenges and work with us."