School closures, the elimination of more than 150 full-time positions and program cancellations are some of the cuts planned by the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to balance its budget, the organization’s chairwoman said Thursday.

Patti Bacchus also added that many of the recommendations the board was told to follow were already being considered.

Margaret MacDiarmid, B.C.’s education minister, has accused the VSB of not managing its budget well after it forecast a $17-million shortfall. She told the board to follow the recommendations in a scathing report released earlier this month by B.C.’s comptroller-general Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland and submit a balanced budget by Friday.

“I asked which specific recommendations would be best for the kids,” Bacchus said. “But she (Wenezenki-Yolland) just said to ‘read it again, it’s in there.’”

Bacchus added most of the cuts are not anticipated to take effect in the fall, but the increases in rental rates for use of school property are.

The list of roughly 10 potential school closures will be announced later this month, with closures to begin in June 2011.

A $1.5-million shortfall is still left. The board proposes transferring money from the Local Capital Reserve to make up for it.

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