Student achievement a priority for government

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To the Editor, 

Your news reports about how the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board budget deliberations are missing some key facts.

For example, CCRSB has a unique administrative structure organized around its four families of schools. This structure employs over 20 FTE employees and costs the board $1.7 million per year. If the situation is a serious as board members state, I encourage them to focus on administrative efficiency instead of taking from the classroom.  If boards have questions on where administration efficiencies can be found, my Department is more than willing to help.

Already, the province is covering all negotiated wage increases and also made changes to pension rules and in other areas to make operating costs lower for school boards in 2013-14. No permanent teachers are losing their jobs in Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.

Although the board will have 370 fewer students next year, it will receive nearly $1.3 million more in funding, and CCRSB already has smaller class sizes than the provincial average.

I want the students of Chignecto-Central to get the best possible education so that they can succeed and be leaders, entrepreneurs, skilled workers and professionals in the region.

Government is focusing on what matters most: reading, math, and smaller classes so students get more attention. That’s how Nova Scotia is putting kids and learning first.

The province is also making significant investments into youth and schools in the region. New schools are being in built in New Glasgow, Bible Hill and Amherst at a total cost of more than $40 million. A new school has recently opened in Oxford. The province is also spending millions of dollars this year to renovate and maintain schools in the board.

Students across East Hants, Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties deserve the best education possible and the province is committed to ensuring they get it.

Ramona Jennex,

Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

Organizations: Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: Chignecto, Nova Scotia, New Glasgow Oxford East Hants Colchester Pictou

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