Thursday, May 28, 2015

EDUCATION FUNDING RAISED IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AGAIN

EDUCATION NOTES FROM THE HOUSE
MAY 27, 2015
QUESTION PERIOD EXCHANGE

SECRETARIAL/ADMIN TIME


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for St. John's North.

MR. KIRBY: Mr. Speaker, the acting minister does not have the school calendar in front of him either because June 27 is an administration day.  They need secretarial support. 

It is bad enough that parents and children are already fundraising for essential school items like iPads, SMART Boards, reading materials, and gymnasium equipment.  Now they are being asked to fundraise so that their school administration can have a secretary to do essential work after June 26. 

I ask the Premier: Will you cut your self-serving, taxpayer-paid radio ads and use that money to restore funding for vital school secretarial supports that they need to wind up school after the twenty-sixth?  Cut your taxpayer self-serving radio campaign and put that money towards secretarial support.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Acting Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

MR. DALLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Obviously they are smart answers, Mr. Speaker.  He has not spent much time in the school because the twenty-seventh is an administrative day, but as I said the kids go home on the twenty-sixth.  Kids are not back in for administrative days. 

So it just points out those smart answers.  When you really do not have all the details or know what you are talking about, it hurts, Mr. Speaker.  What you need to do is stick with the facts. 

Do you know what, Mr. Speaker?  I will gladly go back and check the allocations of secretarial time, absolutely.  Again, I will reiterate, I am very proud of the work that we are doing in schools, the initiatives to support parents.  When you talk about raising money for SMART Boards, I am not sure how many millions of dollars have been invested in SMART Boards for the kids to better their education.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's North.

MR. KIRBY: I encourage the Acting Minister of Education to visit a school, Mr. Speaker, because it all does not end when the kids go home.  Principals and administration have to have time to do all the work that happens after, starting on June 27, which is an administrative day, that they need secretarial support for. 

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. KIRBY: I say once again to the Premier: Will you cut your self-serving taxpayer-paid radio advertisements and put that towards school secretaries, rather than expecting our children to sell chocolate bars and have walkathons so they can have secretarial support on administrative days in school?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Acting Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DALLEY: Mr. Speaker, my critic wants to point out, I guess, my lack of understanding of what happens at the end of a school year.  When I compare my experiences to his at the end of a school year – because it is my understanding he has not been in the K-12 system.  I spent twenty years in the K-12 system.

We are very dedicated to the schools and have a long list of accomplishments that we were able to do, but I can tell you at the end of a school year when the kids go home, that is when the work starts for administrators, Mr. Speaker, in making sure that when September rolls around things are in place –

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. DALLEY: – parents know what is happening, teachers know what is happening and the secretary, without question, is very valuable in the work that they do.  I have experienced it personally.  Again, I will reiterate; I do not expect to go out and raise money through chocolate bars to pay for secretaries – ridiculous.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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