Hundreds protest education cuts

About 200 protesters rallied against cuts to P.E.I. education at Province House Sunday afternoon.

32 teaching positions axed for 2014-2015 school year

Hundreds of Islanders attended a rally at Province House Sunday to protest recent teacher position cuts. 1:33

About 200 protesters rallied against cuts to P.E.I. education at Province House in Charlottetown Sunday afternoon.

The province has cut 32 teaching positions for September. That brings the number of teaching positions that have been chopped in the past three years to more than 100.

Protest organizer Marcella Bradley-Byrne says school closures and large class sizes are likely. (CBC)
A group of concerned parents who organized the protest say, if cuts continue, students will pay the price.

Organizer Marcella Bradley-Byrne wants the province to reinstate the teaching positions that have been cut for the upcoming school year.

"You're going to probably see more school closures and parents are going to see their children in classes of 30 and maybe plus."

Education Minister Alan McIsaac spoke at the rally. He said the province doesn't want to cut teaching positions, but the Island has seen a reduction in student enrolment.

"Everybody hears about teacher cuts and feels it is a concern and like I said, nobody really wants to take them out. We have had a reduction in student numbers though of over 5,000 students."

Gilles Arsenault, president of the P.E.I. Teachers' Federation, says the cuts are concerning.

"Education, it might not be as high of a priority as they like us to believe."

Organizers say they're happy with the turnout and hope the rally shows the province Islanders are worried.

"If they know the people, the voters are not happy, maybe they'll make a change," said Bradley-Byrne.

For mobile device users:Do you think the 32 teachers positions that have been cut for the coming school year should be reinstated?
 

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