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School board puts students first by reallocating administrative salaries

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NORTH BAY, ON – A local school board put its students first as it faced tough times balancing a budget.

The chair of the Near North District School Board confirmed that $127,000 that was available for vice-principal salaries was redistributed to programming for students.

“We wanted to make the system student-centric,” Jay Aspin said. “The board decided it would be best to put student programming ahead of administrative salary.”

The money was available thanks to the Rural Northern Education grant. The total was just over $500,000 with almost one-third designated to supplement vice-principal salaries.

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“A number of members of our board took objection to the fact this money, that should be going to student programming, was in fact going to administrative salaries,” Aspin said. “So we decided by a motion to reallocate the money.”

The chair added the decision won’t cause any job loss because currently, teachers act as vice-principles. Aspin said those who were in the position will now revert back to normal teaching roles.

According to Aspin, the board made the decision without consulting vice-principals so he couldn’t say if there was any objection from administration.

On a side note, the chair said the board has been accused of being “top-heavy”

“We want to respond to that and address it,” Aspin said. “We have a new finance committee looking into that and they will get back to us with recomendations.”

Aspin added it wasn’t easy balancing the budget as enrollment has been declining. He said the district has lost over $11 million over the last five years in government grants.

He couldn’t say where the $127,000 would be going. Aspin did confirm that some student programs were unsavable but said administration as yet to decide specifically which ones will get axed.

The newsroom tried to contact administrative officials but none responded at the time of publishing.

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