Thames Valley District School Board projects deficit twice the size of last year’s

The Thames Valley District School Board is set to carry a deficit into the next school season.

The preliminary budget for the public school board was released on Monday ahead of a Tuesday meeting.

The budget shows the board will carry a $4.6-million deficit into the next school year — double the size of last year’s deficit.

The executive summary of the budget breaks the deficit into three parts: $1.6 million is related to capital purchases, $1.5 million is from a new communications system and another $1.5 million is related to changes made by the Ford government that will alter class sizes.

While the Ministry of Education expects all boards of education to balance their books for the upcoming school year, boards are allowed to carry a deficit of one per cent of their budget.

Thames Valley’s deficit falls well within that range.

The overall budget totals $963 million, which is down $11 million from last year.

Earlier this year, the Progressive Conservatives announced they would increase average class sizes in grades 4 to 12.

The Thames Valley budget includes 54 teaching positions at the board that aren’t currently funded by the province, resulting in a budget pressure of $5 million.

While no jobs will be lost, the Thames Valley board projects a loss of 291 positions in secondary schools and 38 in elementary schools.

Trustees will meet to discuss the budget at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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