The Minster of Education is going to be the keynote speaker tonight at the Annual General Meeting of the Federation of School Councils in Corner Brook.
No doubt he is hoping to find support for his decision to amalgamate the provinces four English School Board's into one. He will also try to convince school council members that his government's regressive education cuts will not impact students.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, for me, I am not going to be in the room.
I have a long standing commitment to the Annual General Meeting of the Knights of Columbus. That commitment is going to keep me far away from this weekend's meetings.
I would like to tell him that the expectation that ALL students perform to their potential is what parents, taxpayers and the community expect from the public education system
I would like to be there to ask the minister to reconsider the cuts to administration and "special needs" teaching allocations.
I would ask him to simply stop denying the impact, and listen to concerns from teachers, administrators and parents to find solutions that do not unravel years of advancement and strategic investments.
I would remind him of the findings of the 2008 report written by Brian Shortall and Noreen Greene-Fraize, Education and Our Future: A Road Map to Innovation and Excellence.
A report that the government adopted implementing a new model of teacher allocations based Ton two key elements: a focus on programming and teaching needs, and maximum class sizes in the K-9 system. Allocations were to be determined by the particular circumstances of individual classrooms and schools.
The funding that has been cut will impact the delivery of important iniatives like 21st Century Learning; Anti-bullying; Safe & Caring Schools, Nutrition and anti-obesity programs; Anti- smoking and anti-drug programs; Music programs & Physical Education programs.
These Cuts will hit the classroom indirectly and impact learning.
Why is this "education government" rolling back the clock on innovation and excellence?