03/07/2013 07:28 EST | Updated 05/07/2013 05:12 EDT

TDSB to cut 248 high school teachers next year

The Toronto District School Board voted Wednesday night to cut 248 high school teachers next school year to help close a $55-million budget gap.

The board voted 10-6 Wednesday night in favour of the cuts after more than three hours of debate.

The board said it needs fewer high school teachers because there will be fewer high school students next year. The cuts, which take effect Sept. 1, are expected to save the board $27 million.

On the other hand, the board is hiring 62 elementary teachers, because enrollment is expected to go up thanks to all-day kindergarten.

TDSB chair Chris Bolton called the cuts unfortunate and difficult, but said that it's clear the board won't get any more money from the province.

"We're trying to figure out how to be able to be nimble and try and comply with what the province is requiring us to do, if we're going to get out of debt," he said.

Trustee Howard Goodman voted for the cuts. "We have a legal obligation to balance the budget. It's not desirable; I think it's manageable."

Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher said that instead of being forced to make cuts, the board should be getting the government funding she believes it deserves.

"One thing I'm sure [of] is they will continue to try to starve us," she said.