School board considers layoffs and program cuts
Ottawa's largest school board is considering laying off teachers and cutting special needs programs to deal with its own financial woes.
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is looking for ways to slash $14 million from its budget.
"If you look at some of the options, there are about 88 staff who we would be looking at potentially cutting," said Cathy Curry, chair of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Curry told CTV Ottawa she hopes the majority of cuts would be through attrition. Other budget cuts could affect special education programs, support staff and spending on computers and technology.
However, a group representing parents insists wages are at the root of the school boards' money problems
"The driver of that deficit is the salary gap. We hear it year after year and here we are again," said Kate Preston, a representative for the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils.
Preston says the salaries of some of the province's best-paid teachers exceed contributions from the Ontario government.
The board is now asking for public feedback on the budget cuts. A public forum is scheduled for Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. The board will make a final decision on the budget in May.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Maggie Padlewska