06/13/2013 01:22 EDT | Updated 08/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Nova Scotia education minister calls on school boards to cut administrators

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's education minister says school boards planning to cut teaching positions must first look at slicing administrative costs.

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board announced Wednesday it will slash 37 positions, drop two buses and reduce hours for librarians in response to provincial budget cuts.

The South Shore Regional School Board says provincial budget cuts have forced it to eliminate 17 teaching positions to balance its books.

But Ramona Jennex says the boards need to first cut from administration costs, and she has offered to send officials from her department to help them do so.

She says the provincial budget — likely the last one before an election — was carefully crafted to avoid cuts to frontline teaching jobs.

The government announced in February that the province's eight school boards will get $1.047 billion this fiscal year, about $3 million more than last year.

But some of those boards will receive less than they previously did, depending on enrolment levels.