School board to reach out to Jennex over comments

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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CCRSB passes 2013-14 budget

Education Minister Ramona Jennex

TRURO – The Chignecto-Central School Board will be reaching out to Education Minister Ramona Jennex in the coming days to discuss its budget process.

However, it isn’t interested in taking part in a debate through the media.

“Our board chair (Trudy Thompson) has said all along and is still saying she would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the minister face to face about how we budget and what our process is and how we arrive at the decisions we make,” board spokeswoman Debbie Buott-Matheson said Thursday. “It’s definitely she wants to do through the media, to be quite honest. It’s a discussion that has to be held face to face.”

Buott-Matheson’s comments come a day after Jennex’s office issued a press release about misinformation she said is coming from the school board about its budget.

Jennex said that despite the fact the school board will receive nearly $1.3 million more in funding this year for 370 fewer students, they are discussing reducing the number of teachers.

The minister said she has made it clear the very last place there should be any funding reductions is the classroom and took aim at the board’s administrative structure with four families of schools.

Buott-Matheson said the board’s administrative structure is the way it is because of the area’s large geographic size. The board, she said it’s important to have services in the community where students are as opposed to having students travel a couple of hours to get the services.

On Wednesday, the board approved its 2013-14 budget that deals with a $2.5-million shortfall it says is a result of an $182,000 budget cut from the province and net cross pressures including fuel, electricity, inflationary costs and the first one per cent of negotiated wage increases.

Thirty-one full-time positions are being cut from the teachers union (18 of which are due to declining enrolment, 4.7 positions are eliminated from CUPE and 1.5 non-union positions are being cut.

No teachers are losing their jobs, but those who retire aren’t being replaced. Two buses will also be slashed.

The board’s budget will be posted online at www.ccrsb.ca in the coming days.

(With files from Amy MacKenzie)

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Central School Board

Geographic location: Chignecto

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  • Dave
    June 13, 2013 - 22:01

    You have to love the games the school board and the government are playing with the provinces future. Another school year has come and gone and no new school in River Hebert,and not much being said about West Highlands. I would say they are going to have a hard time getting West Highland ready for next fall.I see the play ground equipment is still there,I would not let the school board move it until they break ground for the school. Of course we let them tear down the old school to make room for the renovation and we all know where that got us. I am not holding my breath for June 24 the day the school board is suppose to figure out the new tender package, and what is to happen next. I have a daughter in River Hebert school own a home in the community pay taxes,however it makes me sick to see the conditions the kids have to go to school in. The people of Nova Scotia should be outraged that young members of our communities have to go to school under these conditions. I think the government should look at a map of the province . Maybe they will realize that Cumberland County is a part of Nova Scotia!!!!!