School board needs to cut another $58 million
Published Monday, May 14, 2012 4:07PM EDT
Toronto's public school system needs to cut an additional $58.2-million in order to balance this year's budget, the school board announced Monday.
The Toronto District School Board already announced a round of reductions last month, which cut $50.6 million. This included cuts to teaching positions, office staff and 17 elementary school vice-principal positions.
The decision comes as the school board tries to meet an estimated $108.8-million budget shortfall.
Some of the recommended cuts in this round include closing cafeterias in some schools.
The cuts could also involve a plan to close school buildings on Fridays and weekends over summer and winter holidays, starting next year.
According to a source, there is also a proposal to realign special education that could result in a reduction to support programs.
Services and programs will still be delivered, but might be done in different locations, a school board official said Monday.
The reductions could also spell the end to international travel and conference expenses and changes to transportation routes, according to a document released by the TDSB Monday.
At a press conference Monday, Jerry Chadwick, head of the TDSB budget committee, said trustees will hold ward forums between now and June to get feedback from parents on additional cuts.
Feedback from those forums will go to a committee meeting in the first week of June and the board will hold a special budget meeting on June 13 to decide upon the cuts.
With 85 per cent of the school's budget going to staffing, benefits and fixed costs, making additional cuts is going to be difficult, Chadwick said.
"We really don't have a lot of places to go," he said.
The three priorities in considering cuts are that it will have minimal impact on students, minimal impact on staffing and that the school can no longer defer money out of maintenance and renewal funds, Chadwick said.
"Our schools need the maintenance. They need the support," Chadwick said.
By law, the Toronto District School Board must balance its budget and submit that budget to the Ministry of Education by June 30, 2012.
If the board fails to balance its budget, it can be placed under provincial supervision.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Dana Levenson