Back to school

P.E.I. schools won’t be los­ing 28 teach­ing po­si­tions af­ter all

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY RYAN ROSS

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has re­versed its de­ci­sion to cut 28 teach­ing po­si­tions from Prince Ed­ward Is­land schools this fall.

That change came af­ter the English Lan­guage School Board con­sulted prin­ci­pals over the past two weeks to de­ter­mine how many teach­ers will be needed this fall.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hal Perry said the change was made through a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort.

“The 28 (teach­ers) is what they were ask­ing for,” he said.

Those 28 teach­ers are ex­pected to cost the province $1.5 mil­lion. Perry said he was told the money would be avail­able through the Depart­ment of Fi­nance, but was un­sure of the im­pact.

It was only two weeks ago that con­cerned par­ents and teach­ers staged a rally out­side the leg­is­la­ture in Char­lot­te­town to protest the gov­ern­ment’s plan to cut 28 teach­ing po­si­tions in English Lan­guage School Board schools.

Last month the province con­firmed plans to elim­i­nate those po­si­tions through at­tri­tion due to what Perry said at the time was de­clin­ing en­rol­ment.

At the time he said the pro­jec­tion for the fall was 300 fewer stu­dents.

Since then, the P.E.I. Teach­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (PEITF) walked out of con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions over the is­sue be­fore re­turn­ing to the bar­gain­ing ta­ble af­ter the gov­ern­ment agreed to re­view the cuts.

Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Bethany MacLeod said Wed­nes­day she is pleased to see the re­turn of the class­room teach­ing po­si­tions.

“The PEITF’s meet­ings with gov­ern­ment at the end of June were in­stru­men­tal in these po­si­tions be­ing re­turned to Is­land schools. We were con­fi­dent af­ter those meet­ings that the 28 po­si­tions would be re­turned,” said MacLeod.

“Gov­ern­ment wanted to en­sure that any po­si­tions be­ing re­turned would go into Is­land class­rooms and we agreed with gov­ern­ment’s de­sire to con­cen­trate on front-line ser­vices.”

The Op­po­si­tion also raised the is­sue in the leg­is­la­ture al­most daily and the latest pro­jec­tions es­ti­mate an in­crease of 120 stu­dents en­rolling this fall.

In its ini­tial news re­lease on the change, the gov­ern­ment said 28 ad­di­tional teach­ing po­si­tions would be added to the al­lo­ca­tion for the fall.

Perry clar­i­fied they will be in ad­di­tion to what was bud­geted in the spring.

That means it is a re­ver­sal of the cuts an­nounced and won’t be more than what was in place last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.