Who's right, and who's wrong?

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When the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board was ordered to study the impact of a 22 per cent funding cut it wasn't a surprise when board officials started talking about worst case scenarios that had it cutting $34 million over three years and eliminating 664 full-time equivalent jobs.


Now that the board has passed its budget, and implemented a mandated two per cent fundring cut for the coming year, everyone is supposed to breath a sigh of relief thinking at how much worse it could have been. Despite this, the cuts announced by the board at its June meeting on Wednesday will harm the classroom, even though the board and the Department of Education claims the impact will be minimized.

To meet the mandated funding cut, the board is cutting administration costs by 15 per cent, it's accommodating a 50 per cent reduction in direct provincial funding for teacher mentors and its replacing reading recovery with a new literacy initiative.

In terms of positions, it has removed 8.5 full-time equivalent consultant positions and has removed 17 teaching positions due to declining enrolment while the board is reducing administration by attrition, cutting professional development and travel and reducing various education services regional supply lines.

In total 43 positions are being eliminated throughout the board.

Now that the board has done the deed forced upon it by a cost-conscious provincial government we will now see who was right - was the province correct when it said reductions could be made by cutting top heavy administrations or was the  board correct to say the cuts it made will have a detrimental impact on student learning and results in the classroom.

The fact is both are probably right to a certain degree since many boards across the province, including this one, sometimes tend to have a bit more administration than required. However, cutting too many mentors, administrators and consultants will impact the classroom and has the potential to increasing the crack that students sometimes fall through into a chasm.






Organizations: Central Regional School Board, Department of Education

Geographic location: Chignecto

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Recent comments

  • June
    June 15, 2011 - 10:50

    Parents of all children should be very concered. Educational assistants have continued to be cut even though student needs are increasing. Normal children will be at a great disadvantage when the classroom teacher has to constantly stop teaching to deal with flight risks, harmful behaviour, bathroom issues, not to metion the kids that just can't keep up. How long does the gov't feel these kids will just sit when left to their own devices. Special needs kids will be delt a huge disservice but so will our own normal children when the teacher just does not have enough hands to go around. Hasn't anyone ever told the gov't you get out of something what you put in. It is a HUGE mistake to constantly cut eduction, giviing our children less and less tools for the future!!! They are not just children they are our future leaders/workers caregivers ect. Eventually we will all be depending on them. Give them a chance and STOP CUTTING EDUCATION!!

  • Steve from Amherst
    June 10, 2011 - 09:45

    I can not for the life of me , understand the Dexter government's reluctance to call a spade a spade. The 8 individual school boards in this Province have been given a failing grade, they cannot achieve a cutback of this nature even though enrollment has dropped significantly. Darrell, please amalgamate the 8 boards or do away with them completely. Nova Scotia does not want them, nor can we afford them. Fully funded school boards has not and will not add up to a better education for our children. Reform education in Nova Scotia, it is your duty. All IMHO as always.

    • obeau
      June 11, 2011 - 10:11

      In N.S. we have 8 school boards. The one school board in the HRM controls apx. 50% of the students and teachers so WHY do we need 7 boards to control the rest. I believe it should be reduced to 4 boards . One in the HRM ,the valley and south shore ,mainland N.S. and C.B. The same applies to the hospital boards of which we have 7. It is time the province cut back on these other forms of goverment which they cannot afford.