Chignecto-Central Regional School Board passes 2015-2016 budget
The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) approved its 2015-2016 budget, this evening, during a Special Board Meeting held at the Central Office.
“This budget process has taken longer than past years due to a number of circumstances, but I believe the extra time has allowed our Board to arrive at the best possible budget for all students,” said Trudy Thompson, CCRSB Board Chair. “However, balancing this budget has required a further reduction in teaching staff, busing and property services. This continued need to reduce services for students remains a source of concern for the Board.”
At the beginning of the budget process CCRSB was facing a $3.32 million budget deficit. Following a decision last week, the elected Board agreed to invest $900,000 back into the budget which was recovered with the closure of three schools. The reinvestment resulted in a budget deficit of $2.42 million. To balance the budget, CCRSB’s elected Board has made the following reductions:
- School buses/routes - $111,000.
- 5.5 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions in property services: bus drivers with additional duties and custodial staff – $193,500.
- Major maintenance – $131,000.
- 36.1 FTE Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union positions (17 FTE due to declining enrolment) – achieved through attrition – $1.8 million.
- Programs, services & supports – Education Services - $158,500.
- Shared administration – Central Office – $25,000.
CCRSB has a total revenue budget of $202 million for the 2015-2016 school year, with $7.6 million in provincial revenue for targeted initiatives, including:
- Continuation of the Grade Primary-2 class cap of 20 students.
- Class Cap of 25 students for grades 3 and 4.
- Two new Options and Opportunities sites in CCRSB (Cobequid Education Centre and River Hebert District High).
- Continuation of Student Support grants for all schools.
- Increase in the number of Reading Recovery teachers.
- Increased funding for Mathematics support.
Additional funds for Early Literacy/Reading Recovery and Mathematics is being held at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
“CCRSB is excited to have two new Options and Opportunities sites opening in our Board in September,” said Keith MacKenzie, CCRSB Vice-Chair. “We know that O2 offers students an alternate to classroom-based learning. That is extremely important. Not all students learn in the same way and we need to be able to offer diversity in programming to meet the different needs of our students.”
CCRSB’s elected Board continues to site providing adequate supports, programs and resources for students with special needs as an ongoing challenge. Board members continue to hope and to ask that future provincial funding be directed to this area.
Declining enrolment also remains a challenge for all school boards across Nova Scotia. For CCRSB, a decline in the funded enrolment of 433 students for the 2015-2016 school year has led to a reduction of 17 FTE NSTU positions.
The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board is comprised of 17 board members and 2,700 staff all striving to develop independent, lifelong learners in a student-centered environment, with high expectations for all. CCRSB serves over 20,000 students from Primary to Grade 12, throughout the counties of East Hants, Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou.
For more information, contact:
Debbie Buott-Matheson, Communications Manager
Chignecto-Central Regional School Board