TDSB says budget shortfall is higher than expected, as staff present possible solutions

The Toronto District School Board thought it would be talking about a $54 million budget shortfall going into Monday night's meeting with trustees.

It turns out the hole is $67 million, due to another $13 million being cut by the province on Friday afternoon.

"We don't actually know the specifics around the reduction that came on Friday," director of education John Malloy said at the meeting Monday night. "It's a $13 million reduction that we didn't plan on, based upon the fact that we thought we hard heard most of the big ticket news."

Malloy and his staff presented various options about where to find the millions needed in savings, with options around service reductions and managing staff reductions through attrition.

However, Malloy could not confirm if or how many staff could lose their jobs, as it will depend in how trustees eventually decide on what to do.

The facilities and trades staffing reductions work out to:

Caretakers: 52
Summer Student Employment: 10
Trades: 8
Management: 3

"Depending on what decisions you make, it could mean more or less," he said regarding job losses. "Right here we think for the most part, I'm not going to say because we haven't gotten through every department, for the most part, attrition could deal with the plan that's in front of you."

Malloy said if the board decided to look at other staffing changes, then the number of losses would increase.

Other savings including ending busing from senior kindergarten to Grade 5 French Immersion and Extended French Students and gifted students, to programs outside of their home school.

There are also proposed staffing changes to learning centre staff.

Malloy told reporters there's going to be some difficult decisions to be made.

"Outdoor education and providing transportation and ensuring that our students have access to all kinds of special programs has always been a great part of our Toronto District School Board, and we simply are not going to be able to do it to the same extent going forward," he said.