Catholic board decides on school closures today
Windsor Essex Catholic School Board still has $2.4-million deficit
Trustees with the Windsor Essex Catholic School Board will decide tonight whether schools should be closed, consolidated or boundaries changed in Amherstburg, Lakeshore or Windsor's Fontaine Bleu neighbourhood.
Barb Holland is the chairperson of the board. She said her children's school closed when the board went through a previous accommodation review. She said she can relate to parents today.
"It is an emotional issue. I don't know if there is anything I can say to make any of them feel any better about this," she said. "I know that angst about leaving behind something you know."
Tonight's meeting will be held at Holy Names high school.
"The decision we make will be an informed one," Holland said. "It will be in the best interests of the students.
"But there will be people there who will be very happy. And there will be people who will be very upset."
The decision comes a day after the board approved a budget of $250 million for the 2012-13 school year.
Mario Iatonna, the executive superintendent of business, said a deficit of $2.4 million will be addressed by the end of next year.
"What we've done is, we've made reductions in certain areas. We've reviewed every aspect of our operation and we've made reductions where we thought we could in areas that did not affect the classrooms," he said.
Iatonna said layoffs are also expected.
At the beginning of budget deliberations, the board issued 213 layoff notices. That number is expected to change.
"At the end of the day, we won't know what the exact number will be until we know our total enrolment is in September," Iatonna said. "We're probably looking at 100 layoffs, overall, in the board."
The budget will be submitted to the provincial Ministry of Education by the end of the week.