OP-ED- BY PAT DUNN
As a former teacher and principal, and as a taxpayer, I was disappointed to see the province‚Äôs education minister preapproving substandard online video courses for teachers.
Millions of your hard earned tax dollars are being wasted based on inferior video courses. The parents and educators I‚Äôve spoken to all have dozens of fresh ideas on how money could be better spent in our classrooms each year.
The Liberals have been in power for less than a year and this is yet another early sign of this Liberal government‚Äôs incompetence.
Almost 500 teachers have been given approval to take the online courses in an effort to obtain salary bumps. Teachers who qualify for a higher certification level can increase their salaries up to $8,000 annually. By providing these approvals, the government could ultimately end up spending as much as $50 million, with no expected benefit to student outcomes.
The minister‚Äôs department itself doubts the program will do anything to help kids in classrooms.
We must be bold and respectful of taxpayers hard-earned dollars. We must make decisions that actually provide real outcomes for our students.
I believe, the minister should cancel the pre-approvals before more Liberal incompetence results in taxpayers shelling out tens of millions of dollars.
A good education is the key to growing our province‚Äôs economy and making Nova Scotia prosperous again. The Liberals are running a massive deficit. We cannot afford for them to waste millions of taxpayers‚Äô dollars on misguided priorities. This government continues to make decisions that bury us deeper in debt. Today‚Äôs children are tomorrow‚Äôs taxpayer and they will be left with to pay for the expensive mistakes the Liberals are making.
Let‚Äôs put students first. Let‚Äôs start by recognizing that we need every young Nova Scotian to soar as high as their ability and ambition can take them. That means everyone who is able should be given the tools to pass Grade 12 and go on to the job market or higher education. We need a new, streamlined system that not only reduces bureaucracy, but also introduces real accountability into our schools. Let‚Äôs put the focus back on students and the high quality education they deserve.
Pat Dunn, Progressive Conservative Education critic and MLA for Pictou Centre