Queens-Shelburne MLA Wants More Info On Education Funding

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 10:18 AM

Kim Masland want government to come clean on changes to the education funding formula.

The MLA for Queens - Shelburne says the hand-wringing over the past week on whether or not programs or funding are being cut could all be relieved if the Education department would just release the new formula.

Masland says an important announcement such as this should not be made on the Friday afternoon before a long weekend.

"When the last thing anybody's thinking about is government. They're thinking about spending a family weekend is that the Minister's announced there's going to be a new twist to the funding formula."

Masland is concerned about the effect the changes could have in classrooms.

"The Minister needs to be transparent. The Minister needs to be open with NSTU (Nova Scotia Teachers Union), with administrators, with parents and with students of how funding is going to be rolled out for classrooms in September."

Masland says the Education Minister could have made the public aware of his plans anytime in the budget process or during the spring session of the Legislature.

Masland says she's supportive of tying funding to need instead of enrolment numbers.

But that Nova Scotians need to see the details.

The Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development says the changes to education funding were announced a year ago.

Zach Churchill says government committed to changing the funding models away from an enrolment to a needs-based model as a result of the Glaze report and the report on Inclusive Education.

"Where we know we have gaps in achievement, where we know we have high levels of I.P.P.s (Individual Program Plan), where we know there's socio-economic challenges for our students we can use that information now, better, to direct supports where we know they're most needed."

Churchill says the change will also help teachers to focus on teaching.

He says government is following through on their commitment to better meet the needs of kids.

"It's about making sure that those supports that are specifically in the system to address the complexity of needs are best directed in a way that's going to have the greatest impact."

The Minister says regional centres are working on their 2019-20 budgets now.

And those will be posted online once they're completed in the coming weeks.

Reported by: Ed Halverson
Twitter: @edwardhalverson
E-mail: [email protected]