COVID-19 expenses the bulk of EMSB’s record $15 M deficit

The English Montreal School Board is forecasting a record deficit of nearly $15 million for the current school year.

The startling figures were announced in a council meeting Wednesday night, where the board laid out its projected annual budget.

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The board says the bulk of the expenses, a total of $10 million, were directly related to adapting “to the ever-changing” COVID-19 situation.

“The impact of COVID is challenging,” said Russel Copeman, executive director of the Quebec English School Boards Association.

Additional measures, such as setting up online teaching services and providing personal protective equipment, cost the board close to $7 million.

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Without financial aid from the provincial government, the EMSB and other school boards and service centres will have “no other choice but to make difficult decisions,” EMSB chair Joe Ortona said.

The deficit is likely to change once closer to June and government funding is confirmed, Copeman said.

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