The Toronto school board claims it doesn’t have enough money to run our schools come September. A two-year budget tabled on Wednesday night revealed some startling monetary difficulties.
A lack of funds could see the closure of 30 schools, 600 education assistants cut, vice principals reduced and less spending on textbooks.
“Every year for the last ten years we’ve had financial crisis after financial crisis. Every year the board has had to cut programs and services and staff from our schools. But this year it’s a really big number,” said concerned parent Chris Glover.
“We’re trying to maintain the same number of schools,” adds budget chair John Campbell. “We’re trying to maintain the same number of lunchroom supervisors. We’re trying to drive a Cadillac on a Zellers budget.”
The school board’s budget is $2.2 billion, but they are $85 million short of that.
They claim the province hasn’t given them enough money and hasn’t taken into consideration that costs have gone up, including teachers’ salaries and things like paying utilities.
Last July the province announced a $600 million funding package for Ontario schools, plus an extra 30 million for special projects.
“Give us enough money to pay the bills, to pay the teachers, to pay the utilities,” stresses school trustee Irene Atkinson. “These basic things are being overlooked while they rampage along with their special projects to get them reelected a year in October.”