The Toronto District School Board is proposing slashing hundreds of staff from its schools in an effort to cut into its $55 million budget deficit, CTV News has learned.

The cuts would mostly affect high schools, and would include about 115 full-time teachers and another 133 secondary school staff, as well as principals, librarians, guidance counselors, special education and clerical staff, and hall monitors.

TDSB Chair Chris Bolton said because salaries make up the biggest chunk of the board’s budget, there are few other options when looking for savings.

“The fact of the matter is we have to take it from some place,” Bolton said.

This year’s downsizing will save about $25 million, slashing the board’s $55 million deficit in half. The moves would continue years of cuts to staff and programs, including hundreds of positions last year.

The board said the cuts are largely a result of declining enrollment. However, it must also meet benchmark figures set out by the Ministry of Education.

The board says some jobs will be lost due to attrition. It also notes that it will have to hire new staff to accommodate the ongoing roll-out of full-day kindergarten, including 338 early childhood educators and 130 elementary teachers.

Trustee Chris Glover rests blame for the cuts on the provincial government, accusing the Liberals of failing to provide adequate funding for full-day kindergarten.

“It’s like the province is saying, ‘okay, you have to implement full-day kindergarten and you have to pay for it by making cuts to other parts of the school,’” Glover told CTV Toronto.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Naomi Parness