Liberal education critic Chuck Chiasson says that children will suffer from the education minister’s heavy-handed tactics in dealing with Anglophone District South and its budget challenges.
The district had identified a pressing need for more educational assistants in the classroom this coming year, and had presented a budget that reflected that reality.
However, the minister refused to accept the budget, threatening to take the district to court if they didn’t accept the budget mandated by his office.
“First of all, this is going to hurt students the most,” Chiasson said. “If there’s one thing we’ve heard consistently around the province from teachers, parents, the teaching associations, is they need more help in the classroom. The minister is denying that badly needed resource with this move.”
“The minister clearly is fighting this notion that we need more educational assistants in the classroom to address the challenges teachers see every day.”
Chiasson also said the minister’s bullying tactics by threatening to disband the education council if they didn’t accept his terms was unacceptable.
“This minister seems fine as long as you agree with him,” Chiasson said. “This is not the first time he’s belittled or demeaned those who dare to disagree with him.”
“I think the minister needs to show more respect towards people and I believe the representatives of Anglophone District South were doing the job they were elected to do. They were putting a plan forward that was in the best interests of students, and teachers. They deserved better treatment and more respect from the minister’s office on this matter. Now that they have passed the budget that the Minister wants, I call upon him to work with the DEC in a respectful manner to address the critical shortage of classroom resources faced by this district.”