The Calgary Board of Education says it has had to make tough choices in its budget for next year that will result in staff layoffs.

The CBE says 271 support staff — which includes lunchroom supervisors, educational assistants and safety advisors — have been told they could be transferred or laid off next year.

The board says it expects to have only 223 open positions for those employees to fill.

"Our members are facing reduced hours and lesser chances of actually being placed before the fall or in the fall into positions," said Lois Robb, chair of the CBE Staff Association.

She says members are already feeling the pinch of earlier cost cutting. 

"The workloads are extreme in some situations. It's a constant battle. Some people just leave," she said.

Robb says the possible job cuts could mean fewer supports for students and teachers in the classroom and fewer safety inspections at schools. 

"It's significant, it obviously impacts the students, it impacts the teachers because the teachers are left to cope with less supports in the classroom," she said.

In an email to CBC News, the CBE says it has had to make some hard decisions, but that it is working to keep the focus of its resources on students and its core business of teaching and learning.