Public School Hoping For Savings

The Greater Essex County District School Board is looking for other lines of its budget to come in under spent after spending close to $1.5-million more than this point last year on utility, teaching and snow removal expenses.

Superintendent of Business Cathy Lynd notes a $500,000 jump in occassional teaching expenses is significant and says a change to the sick leave plan may be to blame.

“Last year everyone got 20 sick days and you could bank them if you [couldn’t] use them,” says Lynd. “Now you get 11 sick days paid at 100% and there’s little opportunity to bank those.”

Lynd adds electricity and heating costs are up about $500,000 year-over-year having spent $3.2-million so far, but the board isn’t as far over budget as the year-over-year number would suggest because more money was allocated for utility costs in the current budget compared to the previous. Heavy snowfall this winter has meant $460,000 more has been spent than this time last year to clear public schools of snow.