05/14/2012 04:46 EDT | Updated 07/14/2012 05:12 EDT

TDSB to consider classroom, cafeteria closures

The Toronto District School Board is considering closing cafeterias and classrooms in some underutilized schools, along with cuts to the administration of special education programs in a bid to close a $58.2-million budget gap.

TDSB staff made the recommendations in a report released Monday.

The school board has already announced a number of cuts in order make up a gaping budget deficit. Trustees voted in April to cut 200 high-school teaching positions, 134 office staff, and 430 educational assistants.

Even with those cuts, the TDSB still faced a $58.2-million deficit.

TDSB officials didn't say Monday how many classrooms would be closed.

Among the newly announced cuts is a proposed "realignment" of special education programs, focused on administration, and not in the classroom, said TDSB chief financial officer Vidyia Rego.

"This $58.2 million in reductions does not impact directly in schools and program delivery," said Rego in a Monday afternoon news conference.

"It will be central, so it will be the overhead or the oversight of the program delivery."

Meanwhile, trustees will also consider a 40 per cent hike in permit fees charged to outside groups to use school property for after-school programs.

TDSB chair Chris Bolton said the process isn't complete. For the next three weeks, trustees will engage with their communities to get feedback on the proposed cuts.

The TDSB budget committee will then vote how to proceed on June 13 before the board at large considers the cuts on June 22.