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)