Saturday, 26 February 2011

the times, they are a'changin'

Well, shit.

This is going to take a little backstory.  Bear with me. Late this fall, the Province was warned that money was going to be tight this year, and that education funding (Oh! The short-sightedness of this makes me clench my fists and see all shades of red*) would be cut. The entire province started seething and churning and making hurried, worried plans about where the cuts could make a difference and yet not impact our students.

This was a very big deal. Numbers like 15-22% funding cuts for the school boards were bandied about. Public meetings were held where the school board laid out their doomsday predictions (If we lose that much funding, there will be NO AIDES WHATSOEVER! There will be NO READING RECOVERY! Any special trips that require the school to have extra busing are FINITO! The libraries will have ZIP ZILCH NADA NEW MONEY FOR BOOKS!, etc.)

There were hot accusations and yelling from both sides. It's been awful.

February 8th, provincial numbers came out. With cost pressures and having to cover raises (I really need to stop rolling my eyes about this one) my area of Nova Scotia is one of the hardest hit, with an anticipated cut of 3.97%, or 2.7 million dollars next year. (Link to news release)

During the Great 22%! We're All Burning Down! Budget Exercise, specific statements were asked to the school board by members of the public. Statements about schools. Closing schools. The public was assured that the classroom would be protected.

Guess what happened this week? ELEVEN schools have been named for review.
Including my children's school. AGAIN.

We're fighting it, of course. It makes less sense now than it did the last time the school was up for review.

Fighting for our village school, tooth and nail.

*Scene, ten years in the future:

Morris: At least Nova Scotia has a balanced budget, right, Cletus?
Cletus: Uh? (He has no idea what a budget IS) Whut?


Dawn said...

I truly , honestly feel your pain - as a parent in the ever shrinking, continually under attack from the Quebec Govt "English Montreal Public Schools."

When I told a parent in the French system here in town that we, the parents of the English system, each chip in 225 for lunch aides, another 150 for the music and french asst, and then pay an additional 250 per semester for our kids to have ART ( and buy all of our supplies and then pay another 60 bucks for admin supplies cost) they looked at me like I was crazy.

Mind you, this is Per Child. We also raise most of the money for the school library through parent volunteers and the skate-a-thon and other activities. Which is staffed through the school day with One Librarian and a parent volunteer.

Yep. Public School in Montreal, but in English, so who cares.

And they cut more English schools every year in their sick bid to force everyone into French Immersion.

Long rant to say - Fight. Regardless of the outcome you won't regret standing up for Your ( and other people's) kids.

sweetcoalminer said...

I don't understand what that means? Would your kids have to go further away to school?

Anonymous said...

Here's wishing you a successful fight for your school. I am always opposed to cuts to education and health. It's the things that really matter and it is so short sighted to always axe them first.

Jen on the Edge said...

Ugh. I hate it when municipalities start cutting at schools in order to make the budget balance.

Here in my town, I feel like I'm fighting our schools on several fronts, including a proposal to extend the school day by starting the day 20 minutes earlier. That wouldn't be so bad if school started at a reasonable hour, but the upper elementary (where my girls are) starts at 7:55 and the middle school (where one of my girls will be next year) starts at 7:35. Both times would mean the buses arriving on our street before 7 a.m. and that my family would have be up before 6 a.m. Not. Happening.

Good luck.