May 28th, 2017

NDP will make classrooms better for kids in Cape Breton

Plan includes repealing Bill 75, introducing class caps

SYDNEY – Students in Cape Breton could be returning to their classrooms this fall to find less teachers because of cuts made by the McNeil Liberals, says NDP candidate for Sydney Whitney-Pier Madonna Doucette.

“The McNeil Liberals are not allowing the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board to hire 30 new teachers to replace the ones that are retiring at the end of this school year,” said Doucette. “For nearly four years the Liberals have told people that they can’t fund things like health care and education.”

A story in the Cape Breton Post reported that Sally Capstick, the president of the Cape Breton district local of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, said that in recent years, cuts to the board’s teaching staff have been made through attrition. This year, there are about 30 teachers expected to retire and, if past practice is any guide, they likely won’t be replaced.

“While the McNeil Liberals won’t replace 30 teachers for our classrooms in Cape Breton, friends of Stephen McNeil are making millions of dollars off a school construction in his own home riding,” said Doucette. “The McNeil Liberals owe an explanation to parents on why our kids will not have enough teachers in their classrooms while friends of Stephen McNeil get to benefit from million dollar projects.”

The Halifax Examiner reported that the construction of an access road to the new Bridgetown school is more than $2 million over its original $1.3 million-dollar budget. A friend of Stephen McNeil is the beneficiary of the work, and has been fined for illegally building a boat ramp on nearby public land.

To invest in our kids, the NDP will:

  • Repeal bill 75 and start meaningful negotiations with our teachers;
  • Introduce class caps for all grades, taking class composition into account;
  • Hire the necessary educational specialists to support better learning for all students (EPAs, speech pathologists, school psychologists);
  • Establish a moratorium on school closures;
  • Develop new hub school guidelines;
  • Partner with communities to develop hub school proposals and will provide 50% of the funding required to initiate a pilot project.
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