De­clin­ing en­rol­ment

Staff cuts made as school board ap­proves bud­get

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON

Bud­get short­fall means 62 fewer staff po­si­tions at Cape Bre­ton-Vic­to­ria Re­gional School Board.

A bud­get short­fall of just over $4 mil­lion has led to a re­duc­tion of just over 62 staff po­si­tions within the Cape Bre­ton-Vic­to­ria Re­gional School Board. Of the 62.5 po­si­tions to be elim­i­nated, 48.5 will be ab­sorbed by at­tri­tion, with the ex­cep­tion of 14 teacher as­sis­tants who will re­ceive lay­off no­tices, con­firmed school board spokesper­son Michelle MacLeod.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Beth MacIsaac is op­ti­mistic that by the end of sum­mer, the num­ber of teach­ing as­sis­tants af­fected will be less than that.

“We won’t re­ally know un­til the end of the sum­mer if there are ac­tu­ally go­ing to be 14 ( laid off ),” MacIsaac said. “We’re an­tic­i­pat­ing it’s go­ing to be less than that but we just don’t know.”

MacIsaac said be­cause fund­ing is per pupil, de­clin­ing en­rol­ment means less money at the end of the day. For the 2015-16 school year, at this point, about 12,800 stu­dents are reg­is­tered.

“About 10 years ago, right off the top of my head, it would have been around 24,000,” said MacIsaac. “We’re steadily de­creas­ing.

“Your fund­ing is per pupil and the dif­fi­culty is when you have the num­ber of build­ings that we have, 60 per cent of our build­ings have over 40 per cent ex­cess ca­pac­ity so that’s quite costly as well.”

There will be no school clo­sures for the up­com­ing school year. And even with the cuts and lay­offs, there was still room to add an ex­tra School­sPlus pro­gram, which will be based at Dr. TL Sul­li­van. There will also be fund­ing for “tar­geted ini­tia­tives in lit­er­acy and math along with lower class sizes from Pri­mary to Four,” ac­cord­ing to the school board press re­lease.

“It is the in­tent of the board through their long-range out­look to achieve sav­ings and cre­ate fur­ther ef­fi­cien­cies in or­der to ad­dress some of the cost pres­sures over the next five years.”

MacIsaac

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.