WREXHAM schools will have their funding cut by the cash equivalent of one teacher due to the Welsh Assembly's poor grant allocation, says the Alliance group of councillors.
But Wrexham Council says it has made provision to safeguard teaching jobs and actually increase education funding thanks to savings made elsewhere.
The Alliance group, made up of Independents and Liberal Democrats, say that larger schools will lose teachers while the council tries to stop smaller ones being affected when it has to cut £600,000 from its schools budget from April.
Each year the Welsh Assembly gives councils their running costs in the form of a Revenue Support Grant (RSG). The formula which works out which councils get what has been changed this year and has left Wrexham struggling to make ends meet after being allocated £4 million less than expected.
It has already announced there will be changes to social services care to save money for the council to reinvest in other services.
But the Alliance group says the picture is bleak across the board.
'We give education £60m per year,' said Cllr Alun Jenkins. 'That is not for buildings, that is for staff wages and school equipment. Now we face cuts in funding by what represents one teacher in each school. This will mean some redundancies.'
But this claim has been dismissed by county finance officer Mark Owen.
'This is a difficult budget and on the face of it, it looks bad for education,' he said. 'However, due to savings made elsewhere in the budget, we were able to offer a 7% increase in the education budget. When 1% efficiency costs are taken off this it still leaves education 6% better off, which means no redundancies and improved education funding.'
Nevertheless, money has become a problem for the council across the board due to Council Tax rebanding, changes to the RSG formula and a new factor called the Gershon proposal.
'Because Council Tax has not been reviewed since 1990. Wrexham looked well off because a lot of homes move up the banding, so we got less money,' said Cllr Jenkins.
'The new formula for working out RSG already meant we got less money than any other authority in Wales, whereas under the old system we received around the average for Wales.
'Then chancellor Gordon Brown offered money to all authorities in Britain to ease the blow of these tight budgets and we, the worst off in Wales, got nothing when the Assembly gave out the grant because our banding increase made us look affluent.'
Cllr Ron Davies said this was a real problem for the authority.
'It meant we were a long way short of what we needed to get by,' he said. 'Luckily other Welsh authorities agreed that they would create a pool of money to support those of us who received the least to keep us going.
'We believe that this situation is getting out of control because council tax doesn't work any more. An income-based tax is fairer and would prevent these financial problems.'
Mr Owen said this difficulty was one of the most acute the council has to deal with.
'We never saw a penny of Gordon Brown's money,' he said. 'Instead the Assembly looked at the money other authorities had given us and said that it equated to the same as Mr Brown's allocation so we never got it. That really sticks in my throat.'
Wrexham's difficulties were increased by the Gershon proposal. Sir Peter Gershon has recommended that local authorities make a saving of 1% each year for efficiency.
In 2005/06 year that money has been taken out of Wrexham's budget, leaving a £1.8 million hole.
'We have to spend sensibly,' said Alliance group deputy leader Cllr Jean Lowe. 'We are looking at our budget as a whole and changing some of the things we spend money on.
'It is inevitable that this will mean more services are put out to private companies in future as it is cheaper, especially as next year we expect cuts to the adult social care funds in 2006/7.'