Nova Scotia

125 job cuts expected at Chignecto-Central board

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board says it's expecting to cut more than 125 jobs to deal with this year's funding cuts.

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board says it's expecting to cut more than 125 jobs to deal with this year's funding cuts.

All departments within the school board will experience reductions, said Trudy Thompson, the chair of the school board.

"We have to cut $6.5 million this year. We are looking at all aspects of our operation at every department, Thompson told CBC News.

The 125 jobs will include:

  • Classroom teachers.
  • Educational assistants.
  • Secretaries and school-based administrative assistants.
  • Library services personnel.
  • IT staff.
  • Property services staff.
  • Bus drivers.
  • Central and regional office staff.

Nova Scotia's eight school boards were told in February funding for the 2012-13 fiscal year will be cut by $13.4, following a $17.6 million funding reduction the year before.

The cut to the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board amounts to 1.7 per cent or $2.98 million. With wage increases and inflation factored in, the budget shortfall will likely be closer to $6.5 million, said Thompson.

"These reductions will translate into fewer services, supports, programs and interventions for our students," she said.

"We believe the reductions we are being forced to make will erode our comprehensive education system, and will greatly impact the lives of our students and staff."

The school board serves about 22,000 students.

Thompson has said her board had already laid off teaching assistants and bus drivers to deal with previous budget cuts and was running out of opportunities for savings.

Students affected

The school board is also considering eliminating its adult high school.

"It pretty much means everything for me," said Samantha Clarke, who splits class time with a full-time job.

She left high school in her final year to get two full-time jobs when she discovered she was pregnant.

She attends an adult high school in Elmsdale, which serves 180 students.

"You hear all these discussions about people needing to be on social assistance, well without this we can't further ourselves to stop that. I'm doing my best. This is great, for me it's my only option."

Chris McMullin said he's not sure how he'd manage trying to get to another school if his closed.

"I'd have to find another place to go to school, which is hard when you don't have a [drivers] licence, like Truro or Antigonish I think is the next option. This is my only option now."    

now