More money for schools

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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‘Investing more money per student than ever before’

The province is increasing funding to school boards to more than $1 billion.

TRURO – The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board is remaining cautious at news the province is increasing the amount of money it gives schools boards.

“We just received the information today, it’s going to take some time to go through it before we know how it will impact our budget,” board spokeswoman Debbie Buott Matheson said. “Funding is never a straight forward thing. It’s going to take a few days to sit down and look at the numbers to see how it’s going to affect us going forward.”

Education Minister Ramona Jennex announced Thursday that province will increase funding to more than $1 billion in 2013-14. As a result, the minister said, no permanent teachers will lose their jobs, approximately 170 new teachers will be hired, class sizes will remain capped and school boards can hire 25 new program support staff, psychologists and speech language pathologists while maintaining their existing complement.

As well, the funding allocation for teaching assistants will increase by 15.

The province is making the funding commitment even through the Education Department projects enrolment to drop by 2,300 provincially.

“We made a commitment under the Kids and Learning First education plan to do things differently and focus on making sure every student is successful,” Jennex said in a news release. “We are doing that by increasing the funding to school boards in 2013-14. There will be new teachers hirec and more money for staff who work with students with special needs. We are investing more money per student than ever before.”

Buott Matheson said she doesn’t want to comment on whether the province’s funding commitment is good news or not because it’s too early in the budget process to determine how each area will be affected. However, at first glance she said it appears to be positive news.

The commitment could represent a significant change over the last two years when school boards and the minister have battled over funding levels with the province cutting the amount of money it gave the boards in reaction to declining enrolment.

In Chignecto-Central, the board cut 130 full-time equivalent positions last year to cut $6.5 million from the budget after having a very public spat with both Jennex and Premier Darrell Dexter, who brought in a senior official from Treasury Board to suggest how the board could make cuts.

That came a year after the board cut an additional $2.2 million.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Central Regional School Board, Education Department, Treasury Board

Geographic location: Chignecto

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  • Johnny smoke
    February 15, 2013 - 09:50

    Now how does the saying go? What is old is new again, or is it what is new is old again? Either way one has to decipher the utterances that come from the halls of this wayward government. I am grateful that they are not in the ship cruise business because if they were, the going on that we read about in the most recent cruise ship fiasco would be a mild forerunner no further description required. One thing is for sure, the various ministries have received their marching orders from premier Dexter, it is all hand on deck, the ship is sinking, now is the time to reverse all of the previous cut backs we needed the money to prop up millionaires and dying industries. The cuts were just for show after all, we are competent fiscal managers our lenders of vast amounts of money have told us so.

  • Wow
    February 14, 2013 - 22:18

    Wow, that is rich coming from the same people who slaughtered the library system last year! Gee I wonder if these people are going to be hired back on first? Is it fair to say that maybe just maybe they are trying their hardest because its an election year? Kinda late now isn't it, but hey maybe if all those poor people who did lose their jobs will be greeted with the same salary as their counterparts! I think that is the fair way, take care of those people that you wouldn't fight for in the first place! Just sayin

  • Wow
    February 14, 2013 - 22:15

    Wow, that is rich coming from the same people who slaughtered the library system last year! Gee I wonder if these people are going to be hired back on first? Is it fair to say that maybe just maybe they are trying their hardest because its an election year? Kinda late now isn't it, but hey maybe if all those poor people who did lose their jobs will be greeted with the same salary as their counterparts! I think that is the fair way, take care of those people that you wouldn't fight for in the first place! Just sayin

  • David Le Blanc
    February 14, 2013 - 18:09

    Will this be another lie by Romona Jennex. In October in this very paper she stated that tenders for the school in River Hebert would go out in November. It is now the middle of February and no tender have been called yet.Of Course she had a good teacher we know that Dexter always keeps his word. GO NDP "PLEASE""!!!!!