Four English school boards to be consolidated: Budget 2013

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Newfoundland and Labrador will operate under two school boards as of September.

In Budget 2013, government announced there will be one English board and a French board when the 2013-14 school year begins.

There are currently four English boards and consolidating them will see administrative and financial services move to a district office in St. John's.

There will still be regional offices at Gander, Corner Brook, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

More details on the restructuring will be announced in the coming weeks.

The budget also saw a reduction of 160 fewer positions in the K-12 system as of 2013-14.

Those include administrative and support staff.

However, teacher job losses aren't expected -- 550 teachers are set to retire this year -- and there will no reduction in regular classroom teachers delivering required curriculum.

As well, supports to students with special needs will not be affected.

Education Minister Clyde Jackman declined requests to meet with reporters in the budget lock-up Tuesday morning.

He is scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday morning.

The education section of the budget -- $1.3 billion in expenditures -- wasn't all about consolidation or cuts.

Government will spent $840.6 million on early childhood learning and the K-12 system, plus $466 on the post-secondary system.

The tuition freeze at Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic will continue, and MUN is getting money for labs, residences and programs at the Marine Institute.

There's a further investments in early childhood learning and school infrastructure, including $25 million for planning new schools and expansions in Gander, Paradise, Coley's Point, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Torbay and Corner Brook.

As well, more than $42 million will be spent on skilled labour programs.

Organizations: Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic, Marine Institute

Geographic location: Corner Brook, St. John's, Happy Valley Goose Bay Portugal Cove

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