Layoffs loom in Delta School District

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The Delta School District will be eliminating the equivalent of about 17 employees in an effort to address a projected $3.28-million deficit for next year.

The Delta Board of Education passed its 2014-2015 operating budget at a meeting Tuesday night.

Increasing student-teacher ratios will result in about 10 full-time teaching positions being cut.

As well, about five staff who work with children with special needs or those requiring English language assistance will be eliminated. The equivalent of one-and-a-half clerical staff will also be cut from the school board office or other district facilities.

It was proposed a teaching cafeteria at Delta Secondary School be closed, saving about $25,000, but the board voted to maintain the program and amend the proposed budget.

To soften the financial blow, the district is hoping to increase the amount of money it takes in from its international student and continuing education programs.

The proposed budget reductions total about $1.7 million, with the rest of the anticipated deficit covered by $1.5 million from the district's reserve funds.

According to the school district, several factors, including negotiated support staff salary increases, reduced funding for busing, increases to utility and employee benefits costs, as well as carry forward of last year's deficit, have contributed to this year's shortfall.

Under B.C.'s School Act, school districts must submit a balanced budget annually.


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