The final number is in. The Upper Canada District School Board approved its 2019-2020 budget last week. The board faced a $11.7 million deficit, resulting in staff cuts. A total of 160 positions were eliminated, including 42 teachers, 30 educational assistants, 24 student support partners and 11 speech language assistants.

UCDSB Chair John McAllister says while 160 assignments were identified, that figure doesn’t translate into 160 jobs lost. He noted there could be mitigating factors, such as assimilating roles.

The staffing cut represents around 4% of the board’s 4,200 employees. The UCDSB serves about 27,000 students.

McAllister noted the board has a new special education plan in place and in spite of that plan and the balanced budget, the UCDSB is still $7.1 overspent in special education. He says at this point, the board has scratched the surface.