BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Brandon School Board trustees deliberate over the division's budget in February. Eleven full-time teaching positions cut from the 2014-15 budget have been dealt with through teacher retirements or not renewing term contracts.
The 11 full-time teaching positions cut in the 2014-15 Brandon School Division budget have all been dealt with internally, according to the superintendent.
Donna Michaels said approximately nine teacher retirements, combined with failing to renew nearly four to five one-year term teaching contracts distributed across kindergarten to Grade 12, prevented any teaching positions from being eliminated.
"We’re very pleased we didn’t have to lay off any teachers," Michaels said. "That’s a very difficult situation that no one wants to see happen."
In regards to how not renewing term contracts will directly impact classrooms, Michaels said "we’ll have to wait and see."
"In some cases we may see some slightly higher class sizes ... in the middle years and senior high."
School board chair Mark Sefton said: "Certainly the staff will notice there is one less person in their building this year."
However, no programs or classes are being cut, he said, but some high school classes are being reorganized and students in special programs will spend more time in regular classes this school year.
"Those are the kind of changes that we’ll see," Sefton said. "It’s more a matter of finding efficiencies.
"We probably grew too much too fast and this is a time to step back, revaluate, find efficiencies and reallocate."
In an earlier interview with the Sun, Sefton noted the board has added approximately 96 teaching positions over the last few years to address specific teaching needs and enrolment growth.
This year, he said, the board was forced to "take a step back."
With more than 85 per cent of the school division’s budget allocated to staff salaries and benefits, trustees were forced to consider staff cuts and program efficiencies.
In March, by a vote of seven to one, trustees passed the 2014-15 budget, which included cutting 11 full-time teaching positions and a 2.9 per cent tax increase.
Classes start up again for Brandon School Division students on Sept. 3.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 26, 2014