Funding cuts will impact local supports and services in Chignecto Central regional schools

Sherry Martell
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Gary Clarke

TRURO – A reduction in provincial funding for the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) will impact student supports and services, said the board’s superintendent of schools.

Gary Clarke said the local board is sitting down at the budget-planning table with $182,100 less funding than last year.

“I think what is significant that hasn’t come out as clearly as it should have, is that boards are going to be responsible for a significant amount of cost pressures that we’ll be experiencing over this year,” said Clarke, “and so not only is it the $182,000 that we are down, it going to be the monies associated with the significant cost pressures that we anticipate coming.”

The CCRSB budget of about $177 .4 million, will see a reduction of 0.10 per cent.

Clarke said increases in the cost of electricity, fuel and oil, coupled with inflationary costs and fluctuating average teaching salaries will all impact the board’s bottom line.

“At first blush it seems like ‘oh great’ there is going to be an increase but as you are now aware that doesn’t apply to all boards in all situations,” said the superintendent.

“The overall education budget is $3 million more than it was last year but when you distribute it across all eight boards, some boards get increases, some boards get decreases and that is not a new phenomenon.”

The local board, along with Cape Breton-Victoria, South Shore, Strait and Tri-County will all experience funding cuts, some as deep as $2 million, while Halifax, Annapolis and Conseil will see increases as high as 6.05 per cent, with the Halifax board receiving the lion’s share of funds totaling more than $5 million.

“In the last two years we’ve reduced a lot of services and supports for our students,” said Clarke. “Albeit this year might not be as bad, but it will still be a significant reduction in services and supports.”

Last year the board reduced 130 full-time equivalent positions, including librarians, adult high schools, etc.

“It’s been difficult the last two years for sure.”

The board is just beginning its budget planning process for 2013/2014.

Clarke said during the next couple of weeks the board’s financial director would receive provincial funding details along with the final calculations of cost pressures.

“Our board goes through a very detailed process of reviewing its priorities, reviewing the reductions over the last couple of years, finding out how they are going to cope with the reductions and at the same time making sure they do the best for the students in our system,” said Clarke.

The budget process is expected to take about two months to complete.

Sherry.martell@tc.tc

@tdnSherry

Organizations: Central Regional School Board, Halifax board

Geographic location: Chignecto Central, Chignecto, South Shore Tri-County Annapolis

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Recent comments

  • stevieray
    February 16, 2013 - 16:46

    WOW...I never thought that mentioning PD days the teachers get ....to visit such places as New York City ....Washington St. and Arizona ...would rile up the editorial staff in such a manner as to not publish my email ...sorry I offended. My intentional was just to make the public aware of these PD days ...I juust find with all the cuts etc ... that teachers going on these excursions seems a bit to much .

    • Mr.D
      February 19, 2013 - 04:43

      Well said Stevieray. Don't forget about summers off, a week for March Break, 2 weeks at Christmas, plus at least 4 "in service" days per year. I think the PD you mention is done further south than NYC- too cold. Arizona for sure and more likely the Southern States as they have the best teacher conferences (read weather).

  • james
    February 16, 2013 - 12:15

    so why are they cutting funding to schools but yet the government is giving handouts to companies worth 10s of millions of dollars if not more?

  • joe
    February 16, 2013 - 04:35

    Mr. Clarke; Like any other job, if you can't do it, quit and let someone else do the job. We all have increases to deal with in our own homes. Yes, increase electricity, furnace and oil, coupled with inflationary costs and fluctuating salaries ( because some people do not get raises ) that cut into our bottom line. So, we make tough decisions everyday. DO THE SAME.

  • Keri
    February 15, 2013 - 20:44

    Well no major surprise here. But a thought as I sit here and once again shake my head at the way this Province is run. Cutting $182,000 from a school board that is already busting its arse to try and make things work with the little bit they have?!! The Town of Truro forgives $105,000 in debt owed from the Marigold Center?!!!! What in the world is wrong with the people making decisions around here???? Don't think that I don't understand that these are two different issues and two different governments, I do. I just want people out there to see the numbers and to see how priorities are so screwed up.