If there's any fat at all to trim, the New Westminster school district is going to have to find it.
The district is looking at ways to cut back on spending and will present those ideas at a public meeting Tuesday night.
The district has an almost $2.8-million deficit from last year and could face a $2.2-million deficit this year if it doesn't start making cuts, said Joan Axford, a consultant recently hired by the school district to review the hefty "surprise" deficit from last year.
The district will present ways to mitigate the deficit at the meeting, which is being held on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the New Westminster Secondary School library.
The district has two situations to deal with, according to Axford. First, it must set out a long-term repayment plan for last year's deficit, which will need to be approved by the Ministry of Education. Second, it needs to determine how to get this year's budget in order, so it isn't in the hole again.
"Your deficit repayment plan is like paying off your credit card; your $2.2 million deficit is like getting your household budget in order," she explained.
Axford painted a grim picture of what's to come if the district doesn't find a way to deal with structural issues - ongoing costs - that must be addressed to avoid more shortfalls.
The district has already implemented a ban on all unapproved overtime and implemented hiring restrictions.