HALIFAX, Feb. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The Nova Scotia Teachers Union says
today's cuts to school board funding show that education is not a
priority for the Minister of Education.
"We believe the Minister of Education is misleading Nova Scotians by
suggesting that a nearly 10 per cent cut to the education budget (when
you consider this year and next year) will 'put students and learning
first,'" said Alexis Allen, president of the NSTU. "You simply cannot
expect to get more by spending less on education in a province that is
already the second lowest in per pupil funding in Canada."
The cut comes at a time in our history when a quality education has
never been more important to our future economic well-being. Today's
announcement will allow class sizes to rise to levels that are
detrimental to student learning.
Former Education Minister Jamie Muir in 2004 introduced a reduction in
class sizes setting the maximum at 25 students in P-3 and with a target
to introduce the cap in successive years by one grade a year until it
applied to Grade 6. In announcing that new direction, Minister Muir
said: "Smaller class sizes can make an enormous difference in a child's
learning experience, especially in the early years. Students in their
classes are obviously benefiting from the extra attention these
teachers are able to give."
Obviously the current Minister of Education is ignoring the class-size
research that led her predecessor to making this important change.
"Is the minister saying our kids today do not deserve the same
opportunity as those just a few short years ago?" asked Allen. "Parents
should be concerned that these successive two-year cuts to education
will strip out millions of dollars that pay for programs and services
to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners."
Allen said it is impossible to imagine how our educational system will
function with 700 or fewer teachers as a result of this two-year "slash
and burn" approach to education.
"Students WILL be affected by these cuts; there is no avoiding it," said
Allen. "Our schools are being cut to the core resulting in larger
classes, fewer supports, less time for individual attention and fewer
courses to meet individual needs."
"We call on the minister to reconsider these cuts. This blind approach
to balancing the province's budget will have long-term implications
that will continue to be felt for several generations to come. The
only way to improve our economy is through a well-educated,
well-rounded public education system."
These cuts will hurt students and their ability to grow to become ready
for a challenging future.
The NSTU, the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations and
FPANE (Fédération des parents acadiens de la Nouvelle-Écosse) are
launching a campaign Monday to fight these cuts, urging all Nova
Scotians to write their MLA or sign a petition.
SOURCE NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION
For further information:
Mary Jane Webber, NSTU Public Relations Coordinator
Cell: 902-497-0194 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org