Thanks to last minute numbers received from the city, the Winnipeg School Division has a week to rework their entire budget.
Last-minute property tax assessments meant a $5.5-million shortfall for the WSD, which they can make up by either raising taxes 6.4 per cent or cutting up to 60 teaching positions.
“This is no way to pay for an education system,” says WSD board chair Mark Wasyliw. “We have to have a serious discussion in Manitoba of finding a different way, without property taxes, to pay for our education system. This just can’t keep happening.”
They have until March 14 to submit their final budget to the city, and Wasyliw believes they are stuck in a no-win situation.
“Do we hurt the Winnipeg School Division by firing experienced, good employees that are dedicated to the betterment of our children’s education, or do we have to raise our neighbours taxes? Either choice is unpalatable.”
The 6.4 per cent increase works out to be about $80 more per year for the average family.