Group planning rally Sunday against planned education cuts

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Concerned Islanders urged to join protest in front of Province House


The Islanders against 2014 Cuts to Education are planning a protest rally Sunday, June 8, at 2 p.m. in front of Province House in Charlottetown.

Organizers say the rally is in response to the recent announcement by the Department of

Education of 32 additional full-time teaching positions lost across P.E.I. for the coming school year.

“This drastic cut measure has seen some smaller schools having to lose the Reading Recovery Program, which was implemented as an early intervention strategy for students in Grade 1 to receive outside classroom resource to strengthen literacy skills,” says Patty van Diepen, a spokeswoman for the lobby group.

“These cuts have also spurned on the necessity of more combined classes for students across the province, a situation only five years ago used as the basis for closing small schools as combined classes were then viewed as not being an optimal learning environment and would hinder successful educational outcomes.

“These talks have also lit a fire under the school board to head up discussions on future school closures, consolidation and rezoning for the 57 current school zones on P.E.I.”

Van Diepen said the group is urging all concerned Islanders to make a sign and join the rally to give a strong voice to what many believe is an educational crisis for the children of P.E.I.

She said currently almost 40 per cent of public high school graduates are exiting the school system with literacy and math deficiencies.

“Our provincial assessments reflect that many of our Island schools are struggling without intervention in the form of additional human resources i.e, teachers to help our students, our future leaders and caregivers of society. Our PISA testing puts us not only below our Canadian counterparts but sub par to underdeveloped countries.

“We are not asking to be No. 1 worldwide but we are demanding, begging, pleading to be at least on the positive side of our national ranking.”

Organizations: Province House, Islanders, Department of Education

Geographic location: P.E.I., Iceland

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Recent comments

  • Kate
    June 07, 2014 - 21:47

    West Royalty also lost teachers and their enrolment rose!! It's truly sad.

  • Concerned mother
    June 05, 2014 - 22:44

    What this article does not address is the major problem in the larger schools. Our class sizes are rising....26- 35 students in a classroom. This is unacceptable. Students can't learn in this kind of environment especially with all issues in the classroom these days. Eliot River Elementary in Cornwall is being cut two full time teaching positions with no change in enrolment! Explain that! Now our class sizes will be even larger!! ..Cornwall is a growing community...there won't be a drop in enrolment anytime in the near future! I am sick of paying taxes and my children getting a below average education!

  • International Student Movement (ISM)
    June 05, 2014 - 10:28

    “We are not asking to be No. 1 worldwide but we are demanding, begging, pleading to be at least on the positive side of our national ranking.” And that's part of the problem. Rankings are a tool used to increasingly commercialize education. The struggle for the public responsibility to provide education for all and against the commercialization of education are one and the same - not just in Canada, but worldwide. It would be great, if people who fight against cuts also reflect the context in which the cuts and the struggle in general takes place. #1world1struggle