A re-elected Liberal Government will continue to invest in early childhood and education, including boosting investments in literacy programs by 25 percent.
Gallant specified that a re-elected Liberal Government will continue to implement its 10-year education plans, as well as its literacy strategy, whose programs will benefit from an increased investment of 25 percent. The multi-year investment for literacy programs had previously been set at $7 million per year beginning in the 2017-18 budget.
Gallant also released other education-related commitments from his party’s platform and recapped how a re-elected Liberal Government will improve child care and education in New Brunswick. These commitments in education include:
- Investing in an aggressive teacher recruitment plan to fill vacancies created by retiring teachers, including by providing better parental leave;
- Making further investments in Sistema, giving more young people the chance to grow through music. Sistema currently enriches the lives of hundreds of New Brunswick youth through programs in Hillsborough, Moncton, Saint John, Richibucto, Tobique First Nation, Edmundston, Miramichi, Elsipogtog, Fredericton, and Tracadie;
- Continuing to support the effective implementation of Integrated Service Delivery throughout the province, improving the way that mental health, intervention, and social services are provided to children.
- Expand the Free Childcare for low-income families and Middle-Class Childcare Subsidy programs province-wide by 2019 and will make the financial support that they provide to families more generous;
- Ensure that no family pays more than 15 per cent of its gross income on child care;
- Increase the number of child care spaces in New Brunswick to 30,000 by 2020, building on previous childcare commitments which the Gallant Government is well on track to meet; and
- Invest to restore trades across New Brunswick, ensuring that every high school has a modern trades infrastructure.
“The investments that we have made – and that we will continue to make – in child care and education are complemented by our efforts to make college and university either free or more affordable for New Brunswickers,” added Gallant. “It has been said that education is the great equalizer in any society. That’s why we’re investing in education to provide more opportunities that will lead to a fairer economy for all New Brunswickers.”
The Liberal Government recognizes the critical value of a free or affordable public education, both to individuals and to the province as a whole. This is why the Gallant Liberals have invested more in early childhood development and education than ever before in the history of the province, having cancelled the planned cuts by the previous Conservative Government and increasing the overall Education and Early Childhood Development budget by 15.9 percent since taking office in 2014, which represents over $172 million in new investments. Along with the new 10-year education plans, the Liberal Government has implemented the following transformational changes in education:
- A Free Tuition program that more than 6,300 students benefited from last year alone;
- A Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program that benefited more than 1,400 students last year;
- An additional 100 teachers within the K-12 system;
- Investments in literacy that have already generated improved test results;
- Developed the 10-year education plans in partnership with teachers, parents and other stakeholders to guide investments and restore stability to our school system while getting better results for students;
- Began to restore trades to New Brunswick schools and introduced coding;
- Listened to experts and restored French immersion to grade one;
- Launched a comprehensive literacy strategy along with new dedicated investments of $7 million per year;
- Provided free eye exams for all four-year-olds before they enter the school system;
- Made improvements to autism services, including a new online training program for educators; and
- Expanded the Integrated Service Delivery model province-wide to ensure that every public-school student in New Brunswick has access to integrated mental health services in a timely fashion.