Massive cuts expected when school board budget is released next week

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Massive cuts expected when school board budget is released next week

TRURO – Another year of "eroding" local education is about to take place, school board officials say.

"Over the past three years we've been taking and taking and taking," said Gary Clarke, superintendent of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. "We are eroding the system. I'm not sure how long our schools can do more with less ... we haven't been able to protect our (classrooms)."

Last night in Truro, the board discussed the preliminary 2013-2014 budget, which is facing a $2.5-million shortfall and is expected to be balanced next week. The budget will be about $195 million, the Truro Daily News was told.

It's estimated there could be 37.5 full-time equivalent positions cut, including potentially 3.3 FTE library positions.

Director of education services Scott Milner said that does not mean actual librarian job losses.

"There would be fewer hours," as opposed to lost positions, Milner explained. "There would be some adjustments but library services would be maintained in schools."

No teachers will lose jobs but those who retire will not be replaced.

Operations services reductions could result in two fewer buses and drivers. Property services could see less maintenance projects and the loss of 2.7 FTE positions.

In addition, a proposed $101,350 could be cut from administration and governance.

Board member Jamie Stevens said it's frustrating the government isn't communicating the right message to the public.

"We need the minister (of education) to acknowledge how hard it is ... to acknowledge our challenges and work with us."

Organizations: Central Regional School Board, Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Chignecto

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Recent comments

  • EducationFirst
    June 06, 2013 - 13:23

    Cutting the librarians again? There must not be many left after last year? I thought this board was all about literacy? There were already EAs cut this year too. So cut the EAs and cut the librarians? What about all of the extra jobs in Truro? That's what needs to be cut. The supports need to stay in the schools. The government warned about these cuts last year. Are they going to stop this craziness this year? The government needs to step in and tell the board it is not ok to cut the EAs and the librarians!

  • Think About it This Way
    June 06, 2013 - 12:00

    Imagine a junior high school with 3 classes (7, 8, 9). Each class goes from 30 students down to 20 students from one year to the next (a reduction of 30 students). Is it going to cost any less to teach the remaining 60 kids? NO! The cost to heat the building is the same. The electricity cost is the same. The cost to bus the students to school is the same. Unless you're going to combine two classes together (not a good idea at the junior high level), you can't get rid of a teacher. Reduced enrollment does not mean you can slash educational funding without hurting the students.

  • Out With Dexter
    June 06, 2013 - 11:37

    Do we think an election is looming around the corner?? Our so called 'Government' has certainly found money to repair roads these last couple of months. Everywhere I look I see construction and new pavement being laid down. Not to mention the fact that they must have hired a team of surveyors to call people and poll who they are going to vote for because I seem to get 'an opinion' survey almost weekly now on what I think of the NDP Government. Dexter and the NDP Government and the Conservative Government could walk on water at this point and they will NEVER see my vote!

  • Susan Quattro
    June 06, 2013 - 09:34

    I attended the meeting last night, and the only group that will be cut is the library services, this will be done through reducing hours that added up, will amount to three full time positions. So that is the equivalent of 105 hours, as a full-time library person works 35 hours a week. Now my next question is: will the board reduce the hours of the non-union person who is working in a union library position in Northumberland Regional High? One would assume so, as the non-union person shouldn't be there in the first place. The fallout should make for interesting reading.

  • Derek Wood
    June 06, 2013 - 08:55

    Pretty soon there won't be anything left to the education system down there except for one teacher, 10,000 students and a small black and white TV tuned to Sesame Street when they have the extra money fir electricity.

  • pc
    June 06, 2013 - 08:14

    We have fewer students enrolled in schools every year, so it makes sense their would be less teaching jobs. The biggest problem is the post secondary schools. They need to reduce the amount of students accepted into their education programs. Fewer teaching jobs should mean fewer people being educated to become teachers, but this is not happening. Instead schools like St. F.X are increasing the number of people accepted into their programs, or at least this was the case a few year ago. Post secondary schools biggest priority is getting your $ so the chances of them cutting admissions rate isnt likely. People need to be aware of the job market out there when they choose a profession. We can't keep teaching jobs simple because we created too many people qualified to teach.

    • Wrong
      June 06, 2013 - 09:27

      Enrollment is increasing! The govt likes to tell everyone it is decreasing - funding for local school boards are based on this "formula". Ask any Principal at any school in Truro - Bible Hill. They are ALL over capacity and lacking in much needed basic services. We NEED to hire more Teachers, we just need the Dept of Ed to step up to the plate and give us money for them! And not to throw it around to support industries that are done and once govt money is gone are gone as well!!!!

  • What needs to be done
    June 06, 2013 - 07:24

    The board has to stop messing around and close all the surplus buildings in the system, shedding their large upkeep costs and close the schools in communities where they are hugely under utilized and the communities will never grow. These schools are a huge drain on the system.

  • stevieray
    June 06, 2013 - 07:05

    just some and mirrors folks !....Hard to feel sorry for a system that allows and encourages PD excursions to the Pacific coast of US and other extravagant locations ,,,I wonder what these cost or since it's the teachers ...maybe it's a pa rt of their contract . The only cuts I heard of is reducing some EA;s from 5 hours to 3 ....some saving there .... Same old story .............

  • Common
    June 06, 2013 - 06:20

    Unfortunately, this seems to be the case across government right now. At a time of fiscal restraint for all government departmets, however, I can't understand how teachers continue to get raises substantially higher than other government employees. Perhaps examination of pay structure could help minimize loss of teaching positions. Just a thought.

  • Mr. Chow
    June 06, 2013 - 06:05

    You know why do they not start at the top and start cutting jobs at the top or cutting there pay. The government is to blame yes but if the top of the school board really cared they would cut there pay to save some jobs. The top of the school board here is really bloated and needs to be cut down. But Byron M. is right in a few years there will not be anyone here to do the jobs that need to be done. I am not sure about anyone else but I am not voting the NDP back in. There is money to pay for the teachers but they want to pay for projects that will not help us out in the long run.

  • Byron M.
    June 05, 2013 - 23:28

    No teachers will lose jobs but those who retire will not be replaced. So there is no incentive for anyone to continue into secondary education to become a teacher is there? So the gov will say in a few years they have to bring in skilled and trained immigrant teachers because there is a shortage. Why? Because the government cut the education system to shreds, cut teaching positions and no one went into the teaching profession because there were no jobs available. The same is happening in all professions and trades. Eventually there is a skilled labour shortage and the government brings in educated, skilled and experienced foreign workers. So what are the graduating students supposed to do? Leave this country and go overseas to find employment? How can a bunch of supposedly intelligent government MPs and officials be so short-sighted? Cutting education funding and teaching positions. Not much wonder young people are leaving this province and others losing hope of ever having a future here.

    • Concerned parent
      June 06, 2013 - 08:27

      Same old, same old. The board blames the government, the government blames the board! And more cuts to support staff which seems to be the norm this time of year! I also find it interesting that while they are reducing teaching positions, no actual teacher will lose their job, which is not the case for other staff in this board.

    • Do Something
      June 06, 2013 - 09:23

      What are graduating Teachers to do?? VOTE FOR A DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT IN THE NEXT ELECTION! The NDP have eroded the education system by massively reducing funding for the local School Boards for all 3 years they have been in power. Education seems to high priority for the Liberal and Conservatives. The NDP have not done anything in the way their policies dictate.... ditch them!