Number of lost teaching positions in Nova Scotia grows to 322

HALIFAX, June 9, 2011 /CNW/ - When students return to school in September they will be getting their education from at least 322 fewer teachers.

The new total number comes after Halifax Regional School Board passed its budget Wednesday night removing 133 positions.

"This will be felt in the classroom," says NSTU president Alexis Allen. "Class sizes will have to go up. In rural schools, accelerated classes will be combined with academic classes. More than 20 per cent of students already need individual lesson plans. This is putting more stress on a system already pushed to the limit."

Fourteen permanent teachers at the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board are being laid off. The other 308 positions will not be filled when educators retire this year. The loss of the positions comes after the Dexter government removed $35 million from a system that is already underfunded.

"We know the general public does not support this because more than 3000 people have signed a petition on our kidsnotcuts Facebook page," continues Allen. "Parents know that struggling students need more support not less. The government has a $400 million surplus they could easily use to repair the damage this will cause to our excellent education system."

Nova Scotia receives the second lowest per pupil funding in Canada ahead of only Prince Edward Island.

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."

"A loss of at least 322 positions is not minimal," adds Allen. "The progress we've been making at addressing the diverse learning needs of all students will be potentially compromised by these cuts."

You can join the NSTU campaign against the cuts at kidsnotcuts.ca or on Facebook.

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
amurray@staff.nstu.ca

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NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION

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