The school board is considering cutting teachers in light of a $2- to $3-million shortfall in provincial funding.
“We’ve looked at our revenues, our expenditures, one-time expenditures, staffing, vacant positions — all those different kinds of combinations of options to put on the table,” said Richard Morris, the board’s financial services director. “We have numerous options that we’ve been looking at, that have been put into the mix.”
Earlier this month, the Halifax regional school board said cuts to the classroom were imminent unless the province ponied up more cash than what was outlined in the then-proposed provincial budget. It said the soaring costs of oil, a bill that’s expected to grow by $2.4 million next year, would force them to start slashing in schools.
The provincial budget has since passed, leaving the board to cut costs from within.
And they’re feeling the heat.
This week, the Tri-county regional school board, which covers Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne counties, announced plans to lay off 24 teachers and 18 central office positions including psychologists and math and literacy mentors.
Morris said that while the board’s main concern has been to try and avoid cuts in the classroom, it’s still possible.
“We’ve tried as much as we can to avoid that in the options we’ve been looking at this week, but until the superintendent has signed off on a final recommendation to bring to the board, anything is still on the table,” he said.