NSTU says Halifax teacher layoffs will be felt in the classroom

HALIFAX, April 26 /CNW/ - Halifax students are the losers in the latest round of education cuts, says NSTU president Alexis Allen. The Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) is laying off 44 probationary teachers. At this time the NSTU does not have the total number of full-time positions that will be lost at the Board due to funding cuts.

Last week 14 permanent teachers were given layoff notices in the Cape Breton-Victoria School Board as part of an overall reduction of 63 full-time positions.

"This loss of teachers will be felt in the classroom," says Allen. "Nova Scotia is already at the low end of per pupil spending compared to other provinces. This puts more pressure on a system already overtaxed."

The NSTU had hoped Education Minister Ramona Jennex would make good on her promise earlier this year to "put children and learning first" when asking boards to cut funding for the next school year. The minister has said that the budget cuts were to have "minimal impact."

"This is not minimal," says Allen. "We're talking about larger class sizes, more combined classrooms, and fewer supports for students. We've already seen HRSB cut the Youth Pathways and Transitions program. The progress we've been making at addressing the diverse learning needs of all students will be lost."

The cuts to this year's education budget total more than $35 million.

"The "back to balance" strategy the government asked of school boards is decimating the system and the future of our students is severely jeopardized," Allen says. "Why not use some of the province's $400-million surplus to maintain excellence in the classroom?"

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents 10,900 public school teachers in Nova Scotia and Community College faculty and professional support staff. Organized in 1895, its programs are directed towards improving the quality of public education in Nova Scotia.

SOURCE NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION

For further information:

Angela Murray, NSTU Public Relations Coordinator
Phone: 902-479-4708 Cell: 902-497-0194

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NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION

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