Thursday, February 18, 2016

SHOULD FDK GO FORWARD DESPITE THE ECONOMIC CRISIS?

I am joining Ramona Dearing on CBC Radio's CrossTalk this afternoon to discuss the provincial government's renewed promise to go forward with  Full-Day Kindergarten  in Newfoundland and Labrador schools this fall.

That's despite the fact that each government department is facing up to 30% in budget cuts because of the massive deficit. Given that, what do you think - should we shelve full-day kindergarten?

I'll be sharing the results of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Council's request for opinions on the issue from the province's school councils. 

The highlights of the program include:

  • Full-day Kindergarten will be offered in 190 schools across the province; 
  • Over 140 new teachers will be added to the system to facilitate implementation;
  • Sixteen schools required additional space: four schools needed an extension and 12 schools required modular classrooms;
  • Approximately 100 renovations are required to meet infrastructure needs;
  • Eight schools are expected to utilize team teaching as a temporary measure, with an additional eight schools that may require it depending on final enrollment in September; and
  • The full-day Kindergarten program will be play-based, using the existing Completely Kindergarten curriculum that was developed with full-day Kindergarten in mind.
  • Subsequent to implementation, the annual cost of the initiative will be $13.3 million for teaching and programming.
  • The total cost to implement the initiative, including the first year is $31.7 million. $17.8 million for renovations; $7.1 for 142.5 new teachers; $3.3 million for programming and $3.5 for Child Care Services.

Here's how to get in touch. Call 709-722-7111 in the St. John's area, or toll-free 1-800-563-8255.

The show begins at noon. I would love to hear your opinion.


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