NDP introduces legislation to cap classes at all grade levels
February 17, 2017
For Immediate Release
HALIFAX – Late last night, NDP Education Critic Lenore Zann introduced legislation to cap the number of students in each classroom at every grade level. The legislation is based on a proposal put forward by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union during the bargaining process.
“Teachers have been crying out for help, and Stephen McNeil just refuses to listen,” said Zann. “Well the NDP has been listening, and we are prepared to make the necessary investments in the classroom.”
“In my Global Geography class there are 39 students. There are only enough text books for a third of us. There is a crisis in our classrooms and the Liberals legislation will do nothing to solve the problem,” said Manual Moncayo-Adams, a Grade 12 student.
“I have 34 students in my classroom each day,” said Paul Wozney, a high school teacher. “In a 75-minute class that means there is about two minutes and ten seconds for each student. This is unworkable. It’s hard to provide meaningful feedback to students when the time you have is so compressed.”
The estimated cost of extending caps on class sizes to all grade levels is about $41 million, according to documents developed during the negotiations between the government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. Both the Liberals and Conservatives have ruled out making any investments that would jeopardize the balancing of the budget.
“Teachers, parents, and students have said our education system is in crisis, but the message from Stephen McNeil to the children of our province is that they are not as important as balancing the budget,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill.
New Democrats have been standing up all week in the legislature to ensure the voices of parents, students and teachers are heard, while the Liberals have been cutting off debate and holding overnight sessions.
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