N.S. educators urge province to increase school funding by 3.6 per cent

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's NDP government is being urged to put more aside for education in its 2010-11 budget.
Educators launched a lobbying campaign Thursday that calls for a 3.6 per cent increase in public education funding in the next budget. That amount excludes any wage adjustments.
"Our primary goal is to reinforce the government's belief that continued investment in public education will chart the course for the future economic prosperity of the province," said Ron Marks, president of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association.
"We acknowledge that the government faces a monumental challenge to correct the fiscal health of the province. Therefore we have modified our request for the 2010-11 budget year to a 3.6 per cent increase."
Finance Minister Graham Steele said the group put forth a respectable position, but there's no suggestion where the province should find that money.
"That's what you would like to see the government do. What is it that you want the government to cut in order to find the money to do that?" Steele said.
An earlier report from consultants Deloitte had recommended a five per cent increase in funding to retain existing programs and staffing levels in schools.
The group said cutting or not increasing funding to public education could lead to the loss of 800 teaching jobs, larger class sizes, fewer supplies and school closures, as well as program cuts.

Organizations: Nova Scotia School Boards Association

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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