With the interview Ramona Jennex gave on Mainstreet yesterday, it left a lot of us “opposers” scratching our heads… did she really say that the 22% number never came from the NDP?
So in an effort to clarify what was and wasn’t said, I present a timeline of the main media stories for these education cuts starting with the first article in October 2010, all the way to now.
October 29, 2010 – N.S. school boards face budget cuts
December 9, 2010 – N.S. school boards list possible cuts
December 22, 2010 – Education cuts could have drastic effects on rural elementaries http://www.enfieldweeklypress.com/stories.asp?id=4738
January 12, 2010 -Educators stunned by impending cuts
January 12, 2010 -Chignecto-Central school board could lose 300 jobs
January 13, 2010 – Municipalities worry about timing of cabinet shuffle
January 13, 2010 – CUPE Nova Scotia President Urging Education Minister to Clarify Proposed Funding Cuts
January 14, 2010 -Education minister says cuts talk premature
January 17, 2010 – Dexter accuses school boards of fear-mongering
January 17, 2010 – School board, opposition parties fire back at premier
January 17, 2010 – Opposition says premier needs to come clean with school boards
January 18, 2010 – Cuts not ‘just an exercise’ http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1222612.html
This is the way I read this timeline…
1. The Government tells the School Boards that cuts are coming… up to 22% of their budgets need to be cut, so they ask them to draft what those 22% cuts would look like.
2. The School Boards start drafting their “creative exercises” and reveal that a 22% decrease in their budget would result in serious effects in the classroom.
3. The Government starts getting emails from parents who are nervous about the results of those reports
3. The Government says that the School Board did not do the assignment correctly and accuses one school board of fear-mongering after they complete the exercise that the government asked them to do.
4. The new Education Minister gets on the radio and says, “we never used the number 22%” (see the article from Oct 29 to show this bit of disinformation revealed)
5. The School Boards get angry with the Premier for accusing them of fear-mongering
6. An apparent war between our school boards and the provincial government is started.
Seriously? Are we in 5th grade here? Was the government simply “testing” the people we’ve elected to run our school boards to see what they’d come back with? Have politics in this province really de-evolved into juvenile name-calling and rumor spreading?
Besides, is the NDP in any position to accuse an organization of fear-mongering after they used a manufactured debt estimate of $525 million in their last round of budget discussions. They keep using the phrase ‘back-to-balance’… until we get “back-to-balance”… well didn’t it come out in December that we in fact are back to balance, and actually facing a $92 million surplus? Give me a break…
If the goal of the NDP government is to dismantle the education system to create something better to take it’s place… well that, I think is a commendable (and huge) project to undertake… but… if they are just planning on taking almost $200 million out of the budgets of school boards and let them figure it out… well, then he shouldn’t get upset when a school board tells him what those cuts would look like in the existing framework.
Again… this is no way to run a province…