TDSB trustees to consider job cuts
TDSB trustees will consider cutting hundreds of jobs to cut about half of the board's $55-million deficit.
A report going in front of a committee on Thursday recommends the loss of 248 secondary school teachers, as well as some secretaries, vice principals and guidance counsellors.
The cuts would eliminate about $27-million.
"I hate budget time," says trustee Shelley Laskin. "I hate it because it's just reductions of people that make a difference in our schools."
But she adds that this is a hard decision that has to be made.
"I think any time you have a reduction in staff is difficult, but frankly we are still staffing in some areas above the funding we receive," she says.
According to TDSB spokesperson Shari Schwartz-Maltz, staffing makes up about 66 per cent of the board's budget. Next year, funding from the province will be about $2.9-billion.
Laskin says while the board has no choice, the province's hands are also tied.
"We understand they can't give us the money they don't have," Laskin says. "They themselves are in a deficit."
She says what worries her most is the effect dropping enrolment will have on high schools.
"Schools that have smaller student populations will have challenges offering a full breadth of programs," the report says.
Laskin says the board may have to seriously consider closing and consolidating some high schools to address the issue.
The staffing report also recommends hiring an extra 131 elementary teachers, mostly for full-day kindergarten. It will be considered by the full board of trustees on March 6th.