MTS president James Bedford said that the government’s commitment to building a first-class education system, announced in today’s throne speech, will be apparent when the recommendations to the K-12 Education Review are released.
“Investing money in public education is an investment in our children and in the future of our province, but how the additional $1.6 billion in education funding is spent over the next four years will determine the government’s commitment,” he said.
The province also announced that the phasing-out of the education portion of property taxes will begin in 2021, and be completed over a maximum of 10 years.
“The education portion of property taxes represents a considerable revenue stream for our public schools – about $830 million,” Bedford said. “What is the plan for ensuring that the government will be able meet the complex and evolving needs of today’s public school students? Without a concrete plan for filling this void in funding, there are significant concerns over the long-term sustainability of public education.”
The government will also be establishing a provincial blended learning strategy, consisting of remote and in-class learning options through the Restoring Safe Schools Plan, “to ensure that learning continues as seamlessly as possible for every student during the pandemic, regardless of where they live.”
“There is no replacement for a teacher in the classroom with students, but we understand the need to make these temporary accommodations as we navigate our way through COVID,” Bedford said. “MTS has been at the table for these discussions. We have raised concerns over workload, class size, the need for teacher collaborative time and much more and will continue to speak out on behalf of teachers to ensure your rights are protected.”