Trustees Recommend Measures to Minimize Impact on Students and School-Based Staffing Reductions
Trustees introduced motions at the Finance & Facilities Committee, April 11, to minimize the impact of school-based staffing reductions. On April 15, Trustees will consider measures to restore staffing positions that protect the most vulnerable students in special education and preserve the integrity of course selection for students.
“Trustees are making a staffing decision at this stage in the budget development process and responding to the reductions being passed down by the provincial government,” said Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board. “We’re doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our students and staff by making funding decisions that counter staffing cuts.”
The three motions to be considered for approval at the Board Meeting on Monday, April 15, include:
- That the Board, through the budget process, consider increasing the contingency fund to minimize the impact of secondary class size changes on programming.
- That $500,000 be added to the 2019-20 budget for Specialized Services staffing and that the allocation of positions will be determined through the budget process based on a review of student needs.
- That the following guiding principles be approved for the 2019-20 budget process: Maintain a student focus; Maintain a focus on special education supports; Respect collective agreements; Maintain our valued workforce; and implement a hiring freeze on additional management and executive positions.
At this phase in the budget development process, Trustees are considering for approval baseline staffing allocations of 4,529.66 positions for the elementary and secondary panels. The allocations represent 136.16 fewer positions as a result of reductions in Local Priorities Funding, uncertainly in EPO (Education Programs Grants – Other), adjustments for enrolment, school closures and class size regulations.
“As we review staffing levels at this stage in our budget planning to meet collective agreement timelines, the motions that we’ll be considering for approval keep a focus on our students and protect local priorities,” said Johnstone. “We will continue to look at all options to add staffing positions throughout the budget process as we work to approve a balance budget in June.”
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Shawn McKillop, APR
Manager, Communications and Community Engagement