School district wins support in budget fight
Advertising campaign will criticize department's budget cuts
The District 1 Education Council is earning support from outside groups in its fight with the Department of Education over the provincial government's requirement to cut its budget.
But the demand came with a request from Education Minister Jody Carr that the cuts not impact classroom education.
The District 1 Education Council, which represents francophone schools in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John, told Carr that it was refusing to cut its budget because it couldn't safeguard classroom education.
Jean-Marie Nadeau, the president of the Société de l'Acadie du Noveau Brunswick, which advocates for francophone citizens and organizations, said the district is one is the fastest growing in the province and it should be spared.
"These cuts are what they call, an arm of massive destruction of our education system," Nadeau said.
"Everybody will pay more in the future if we cut today."
The department had sought the district to trim $500,000 from its budget.
Monique Caissie, the president of the francophone teachers' association, said the union is also backing the district saying the cuts would have hurt education.
"The cuts that they were going to have to make was going to affect the classroom," Caissie said.
"I mean they are talking about cutting into text book budgets, they are talking about cutting professional development for teachers, not filling vacant positions."
Radio blitz planned
The Acadian society and the teachers' association are planning a radio advertising campaign that will start on Monday that will attack the education cuts.
The president of the District 1 council declined an interview until he responds to Carr's letter. A spokesperson with the education minister said Carr was "too busy" for an interview.
Nadeau said it's now time for Premier David Alward to step in and mediate the dispute.
"We will meet him wherever he wants, what time he wants, which location he wants. But we need to talk to him," he said.
Nadeau requested a meeting with Alward in writing earlier this week.