Public School Board Reports $1.5-Million Shortfall

The Greater Essex County District School Board Administrative Office. (Photo by Alexandra Latremouille)

The Greater Essex County District School Board has to find $1.5-million in savings from this year’s budget to balance its books.

The board first raised the possibility it would run a deficit this year back in February. At that time, it looked like it would run $1-million short.

In an update to trustees, Treasurer Cathy Lynd blames continued falling enrolment for the deficit. She says while the board is pleased with changes to special education funding, it continues to grapple with less in revenues because fewer students are attending its schools.

Director of Education Erin Kelly is optimistic the board will find those savings. She says it’s reviewing all of its options, including possible programming cuts, and even more school closures.

“We have to look at empty spaces,” she says. “I think that the board will be considering looking at those things and accommodation reviews are an outcome of that.”

The shortfall could impact the budget for the 2016-17 school year. Trustees are expected to approve that in June.