HALIFAX, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - NSTU president Alexis Allen is seeking
clarification from the Dexter government regarding funding cuts to
education. "We understand that school boards were asked to look at
cutting $196 million from their budgets over three years," says Allen.
This has been widely debated and discussed as a 22 per cent reduction.
In a CBC Radio interview yesterday, new Education Minister Ramona
Jennex said losing $196 million is 16 per cent. "Whether it's a 16 or
22 per cent decrease in public education funding, it's still a drastic
cut that will decimate the system. When will Nova Scotians be informed
of what we're really dealing with in terms of public education
Jennex also referred to the changing needs in public education in the 21st Century and her Department's ongoing commitment to meet the needs of
students in the classroom. "How can the province meet these needs by
gutting the very resources that provide for students?"
"The majority of Nova Scotians believe the overall level of funding for
the public school system should be increased," she continues. "It's
clear Nova Scotians understand the importance of public education."
Allen is referring to the 2010 Nova Scotia Education Issues Survey
conducted by the Corporate Research Associates for the NSTU October 5
to 20, 2010. From that study, seven in ten Nova Scotians believe
funding of the public school system should be increased. (The survey of
400 Nova Scotians produced a sampling error of plus or minus 4.9 per
cent in 19 out of 20 samples.)
Premier Dexter has accused some of the province's school boards of fear
mongering in public in their presentations of what a proposed 22 per
cent cut would look like. The Premier says his government would never
allow "dramatic scenarios with job cuts." "This is confusing," says
Allen. "School boards were asked to prepare such scenarios. The Premier
and the Minister of Education need to inform Nova Scotians of the
reality of the situation. If this is merely an exercise that will never
yield such cuts, it has caused needless fear and angst for students,
teachers and parents around the province."
Allen is meeting with NSTU leaders from across the province on Friday in
Halifax to discuss proposed cuts to public education.
SOURCE NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION
For further information:
Angela Murray, Public Relations Coordinator, 902-479-4708, Cell: 902-497-0194