04/18/2013 02:56 EDT | Updated 06/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Quebec cuts millions from school board budgets

Quebec school boards are facing $65 million in cuts for the upcoming school year.

Education Minister Marie Malavoy announced the reductions today for the 2013-14 school year.

The reductions represent just under one per cent of the school boards' total budget of $7.2 billion.

Officials with the province's English board say the cuts are going to make an already difficult job, even tougher.

David Birnbaum, head of the Quebec Association of English School Boards, says the cuts are less than last year's, but that doesn’t mean they still aren’t difficult to absorb.

“There's no more room to make cuts that fully shelter student services, it's simply the reality,” he said.

Malavoy says she understands administrators are already doing their best to keep a tight rein on finances.

She said boards have three options to help deal with the cuts: they can reduce their expenses, increase their revenue and dip into their budget surpluses, if they have one.

Malavoy said she will give school boards permission to use more of their surpluses to help balance their budgets.

The minister has also announced the creation of a working group that will involve the government and the French and English school boards.

Birnbaum says that move is a step in the right direction.