The chairman of the Near North District School Board is worried what’s facing school boards in the not too distant future. Dave Thompson says the boards have been able to save money by merging and closing schools. They’re also allowed to run deficits of one percent of their total budgets. But Thompson expects school boards to incur larger deficits because they’re continually under-funded. Thompson says we’re going to see boards go two, three and four million dollars over their allotted thresholds and adds the Ministry of Education will have to address this.
Thompson says short of massive layoffs, which isn’t in the cards, the province has to come up with a solution that addresses the funding issue because there are no other places where cuts can occur. He says the Near North board cut $3 million from next year’s budget and is still short $640,000. Thompson has suggested a one school board for all idea in the past because that will save money. However in Northern Ontario, the only political party that supports this concept is the new Northern Ontario Party. Thompson says the other three mainstream parties are mostly silent on this issue. He says it would be nice to know where they stand on the matter.